It’s been 20 years since the last Crime & The City Solution record, which, even in today’s reunion culture, makes the release of American Twilight on Mute feel like an event. Particularly if you consider yourself a fan Simon Bonney’s ’80s outfit, a band who unfairly never quite got a foothold on the post-punk top tier due to endless comparisons to fellow Australian-Berlin transplants Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds who shared both a love of creaking Southern Gothic and handful of personnel (both Rowland S Howard and Mick Harvey played in C&CS line-up in the early incarnation). This record doesn’t tinker with the original formula that Bonney thrashed out in a debached Berlin all those years ago, but serves as a vital, blood-red statement of undiluted intent. Welcome back.
Not only are we hosting the video premiere of “Goddess”, the grizzled first single taken from the album, but we’re accompanying it with a 15-still Frame x Frame featuring commentary by C&CS guitarist and longstanding Einstürzende Neubauten member Alexander Hacke. It all makes perfect sense…
The Eagle The Sky
A Sword. The Children of the Voice. Disposing Intelligence. Gemini—Air.
What does Love ask of me?
Representing Man between Vice and Virtue, while a winged genius threatens Vice with his dart.
The Singer of the Song
Positioned in the Center.
Intelligence of Transparency. Mercury.
Where do I look for magic?
The figure of a juggler, one hand upraised holding a wand, the Symbol of Will.
The Palm of the Hand.
The wheel hub wherefrom the force of the five elements spring.
The Lord of the Forces of Life. Intelligence of Conciliation. Jupiter.
What rises? What falls?
On the ascending side is an animal ascending, and on the descending side is a sort of monkey descending; both forms are bound to a wheel. Above is the form of an angel, holding a sword in one hand and a crown in the other.
The Snake In The Desert
Strength—The Daughter of the Flaming Sword.
The Intelligence of all the Activities of the Spiritual Being. Leo—Fire.
How is it done?
A woman crowned, who calmly and without effort, closes the jaws of a furious lion.
The Spirit of Aether. Scintillating Intelligence. Liberty. Show me the way.
Before him, the butterfly of Pleasure luring him on.
Man of the Mountain
A Hand, means of action and symbol of creative energy.
Eternal Voice. Intelligence of Will. Virgo—Earth.
What can I learn? In his right hand the lantern.
An Eye. The Gates of Matter, the Child of the Forces of Time. Renovating Intelligence.
What have I lost? What blocks me from returning? What illusory chains hold me?
The Image of Fate or Fatality, good or evil.
Child of the Powers of the Waters. The Triumph of Light.
Intelligence of the House of Influence. Cancer – Water
What am I leaping into at this time of my life?
Drawn by two horses, one of which looks straight forward, while the other turnes his head towards him.
Reflecting Scorpio’s generation through putrefaction. Child of Great Transformers.
Lord of the Gate. Imaginative Intelligence. Scorpio—Water.
Why do we have to die? Mowing down heads in a meadow like grass.
Gate of the Supernal. Daughter of the Mighty Ones.
Illuminating Intelligence. What is my passion? Venus.
Winged and crowned, seated upon a throne. Result of the Union.
Bird Of Prey
Connects with His Foundation. The Daughter of the Reconcilers, the Bringer forth of Life. Tentative Intelligence. Sagittarius—Fire.
Current situation. Alternative. Possible middle way. Needed approach.
An Angel with the sign of the Sun on her brow, pouring liquid from one vessel into another.
Travelling across the Abyss. The Silver Star. Uniting Intelligence. The Moon.
How can I be true to it?
The solar cross upon her breast and the book of Science open in her hand.
Daughter of the Firmament. Dweller between the Waters.
Natural Intelligence. Aquarius—Air.
Hope. Guidance. Peace. Healing
Above her shines the Blazing Star.
Trees and plants grow beneath her magic influence (and on one the butterfly of Psyche alights).
Ox—Goad. Ruler of the Balance. Faithful Intelligence. Libra—Air
What part do I play? Equilibrium. Between the two Columns.
Dark Night Of The Soul
The Back of the Head. The Ruler of Flux and Reflux. The Corporeal Intelligence. Pisces.
What lies in the deep? What stirs it awake? What will it reveal?
The Moon shining in the heavens, drops of dew falling, a wolf and a dog howling at the Moon and halted at the foot of two towers, a path which loses itself in the horizon and is sprinkled with drops of blood, a crayfish, the sign Cancer, crawls through water in the foreground towards the land.
The Window. Understanding whereby the Light reaches us. The Emperor.
Son of the Morning. Constituting Intelligence. Aries—Fire
How am I weak? How am I strong? What are the rules?