The Threat Lullaby in C EP reissue

Before recording this one-and-done heater in 1980, Dublin post-punks the THREAT were playing shows with the likes of a pre-fame U2, and if we lived in a just world, the martial deathrock march of the THREAT’s B-side “High Cost of Living” would have later been forcibly planted in everyone’s iTunes libraries instead of…well, you know. A rumbling, cyclical bass line and stark, mostly cymbal-less drums beat along in lockstep against an atmospheric swirl of lost-in-space synth for almost three minutes straight before Deirdre Creed’s vocals finally cut through the tension—the song’s lyrics literally consist of nothing more than the phrase “high cost of living” shouted with mounting desperation, but they still convey a CRASS insert’s worth of fiery polemic in just four words. Killer! Guitarist Maurice Taylor handles vocals on the A-side “Lullaby in C,” cloaked in a greyscale moodiness somewhere between early Factory Records and the more dub-minded factions of early ’80s anarcho-punk; a total inversion of the scorched earth stomp that follows on the flip. This first-time reissue also adds a previously unreleased 1979 solo soundscape from the THREAT’s synth player Stano (“Demo Above the Foggy Dew”) sandwiched in between the single’s two original tracks—when the THREAT ended in 1981, he turned to making avant-garde electronic/industrial music in the vein of CABARET VOLTAIRE circa “Silent Command,” and it definitely shows. Cost of living? High. “High Cost of Living”? Priceless.