80's, Dissonant, Intimist, Low vocals, Old School, Punk
"Gary Numan's eponymous Tubeway Army debut, where punk gives way to post-punk and new wave."
ADRIANSTORK (31.08.2023)  
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Born in 1958, Gary Webb pursued two dreams throughout his childhood and adolescence. While he reluctantly abandoned one of them (to become a professional airplane pilot), he decided to focus on the second: becoming a rock star. Rejecting all teaching and diagnosed with Asperger's, Gary taught himself to play guitar, but was more interested in the discordant sounds he could get out of it. He also had a passion for science-fiction stories, which were an inexhaustible source of inspiration. After joining a few unsuccessful bands (and flunking out of an audition for The Jam), Gary was accepted into the Lasers, a band that only played covers. At the first rehearsal, he managed to convince one of the members, bassist Paul Gardiner, to play his own songs. The band was spotted by Beggar Banquets, who immediately signed them. Drummer Jess Lidyard, none other than Gary's uncle, completed the trio imposed after the departure of those who wanted to continue riding the punk wave.

From punk, Gary, who now calls himself Gary Numan, has retained the energy rather than the slogans. The young man is well aware that punk's Golden Age was short-lived, and that new directions must be found as soon as possible, or risk ending up buried under unsold merchandise. Opener 'Song To The Siren' marks this evolution, the punk guitar riff counterbalanced by the omnipresent sound of keyboards. The rhythmic lines are stripped, moving straight to the essentials within the framework defined by the sharp bass and binary drums. Gary Numan, who, by his own admission, is far from being an accomplished guitarist, uses his instrument as a weapon, as on 'Friends', where his flayed tones are more appropriate than a ponderous solo. His vocals already have a cold, robotic tone.

Gary Numan, like Ultravox and The Human League before him, has drawn his inspiration from Kraftwerk and David Bowie to rediscover a momentum lost after the short-lived festivities of 1977. The keyboards he plays herald the new wave revolution of the 80s. On 'My Shadow In Vain', 'The Life Machine' and 'Something's In The House', synthesizers play on equal terms with guitars. 'Are You Real?' reverses the roles, with keyboards taking over the guitar solo. Other curiosities include the ironic ballad 'Everyday I Die' (about onanism), the folk tune 'Jo The Waiter' and the disturbing 'Zero Bars', which could have appeared on the next album. The lyrics are already heavily influenced by science fiction, in particular the novels of Philip K. Dick, which will inspire the concept of the next album. A theme dear to its author emerges: alienation.

The first milestone in Gary Numan's discographic edifice, "Tubeway Army" captures the transition from punk to post-punk and new wave. It's worth noting that the 1998 CD reissue of the album added a bonus concert at the Roxy, a document that allows us to hear the Tubeway Army punk that was already buried before this album was recorded.

01. Listen to the Sirens - 3:06
02. My Shadow in Vain - 2:59
03. The Life Machine - 2:45
04. Friends - 2:30
05. Something's in the House - 4:14
06. Everyday I Die - 2:24
07. Steel and You - 4:44
08. My Love Is a Liquid - 3:33
09. Are You Real? - 3:25
10. The Dream Police - 3:38
11. Jo the Waiter - 2:41
12. Zero Bars (Mr. Smith) - 3:12

Gary Numan: Chant / Guitares / Claviers
Jess Lidyard: Batterie
Paul Gardiner: Basse
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