Borland, Adrian – Harmony & Destruction

Regular visitors of this website may not be surprised to read that The Sound is one of my favourite 80’s bands. Recently all their classic albums are being re-released on cd. After the demise of this underrated group Adrian Borland pursued a solo career, with a handful of fine albums. Appreciated by connaisseurs, but no large commercial success. Perhaps one of the reasons for his depressive nature, which resulted in his suicide in April 1999. Posthumous two albums of Adrian Borland appeared, of course on the Dutch Red Sun Records label, which is doing a lot to preserve the legacy of many classic new wave acts. Two years ago “Last days of the rain machine” appeared, a collection of unreleased acoustic songs.

This year “Harmony & Destruction” was released, the album Borland was working on at the time of his death. The album was not finished yet, but Borland fands and relatives wanted this material to be released. Most of the recording had been completed, except for the vocals. But these could partly be reconstructed, with the help of some demo recordings. I’m quite glad these album is released anyway, because it contains some strong Borland songs. The production is quite good actually, a few vocals sound a little rawer than probably intended, but this gives an extra charm to some songs.

The album is quite varied, from rocksongs to orchestral passages to plain acoustic songs. Of course the air is filled with melancholy, but it’s not all about desperation. A few songs sound quite light actually, like ‘Solar’ and ‘Summer wheels’. But often a black mood prevails, like on the fine intimate acoustic ‘Heart goes down like the sun’. Some of my other favourites are ‘Forever from here’, ‘Get me a witness’ and ‘Song damn song’.

This album will not bring him a lot of new fans, but it is a convincing proof of his talent. Perhaps more Adrian Borland or The Sound recordings will surface, but I think that “Harmony & destruction” can be regarded as his testament, a worthy document.

artist: Borland, Adrian
label: Red Sun
details: 14 tracks