The Virgin Prunes Hérésie
was originally issued as a beautifully boxed and packaged double-10" EP on the Invitation to Suicide label from France. The label commissioned the band to create a work around the concept of insanity. The box also contained five booklets. It was released just before the band's proper debut album, If I Die, I Die
. Disc one is a studio outing, consisting of seven songs. The five-song second disc documented one of the band's live performances in Paris. Herein is the disillusioned aftermath of glam and punk, as the serpent of Goth eats its own tail. What's left is an unfocused preoccupation with industrial's dynamics, childish melodies and post-punk theatricality. The music here is weird, loose, rumbling and rambling. It lurches rather than flows, it stumbles and falls continually, getting up more wrecked and determined to continue. "Loved One" embodies all the contradictions perfectly with ambient sound swirling in the fore and backgrounds, as an overloaded bass, a drum machine, Dik
's squalling guitars and tribal drumming create a wall of pain for Gavin Friday
to rant and roll over. Less than five minutes in length, it is an alarming freak show of a tune, and one that resonates long after disc one ends. The live disc is a spot-on, lean and mean set that contains a fine version of the band's "Pagan Lovesong" single as well as "Caucasian Walk" and "Walls of Jericho" from If I Die, I Die
, and closes with "Come to Daddy" from the New Form of Beauty
project. Reissued a few times in dodgy CD versions, Mute Records released a completely remastered version in 2004 that restores the original sonic luster of the vinyl.