He may have been roundly mocked by the populace in his alleged halcyon days for being a Tory, a fifth-rate Bowie impersonator, and having difficulty landing his plane, but squat ’80s goth Gary Numan never strayed too close to controversy. Now, though, he’s belatedly realised that people like a little attention-seeking window-dressing with their black-clad sulk-rock. It worked for Marilyn Manson, right?
Adopting a ridiculous crucifix pose on the sleeve and singing lines like “I’ll rip the skin from God’s face/I’ll steal the light from Heaven’s gate”, (‘Rip’) is unlikely to do the same for Gary, mind. This is, simply, because no fucker – excepting the infamous Numanoids, who would still pledge allegiance to their hero if he came round their house and shat on their carpet – cares anymore.
‘Pure’, for all its flagrant MM/NIN aping, ends up a mere testament to Numan’s bloated vanity; impeccably produced, yet wincingly self-important and wholly charmless. You could see it as a reflection of the debt owed him by metal’s new breed (eg, Fear Factory, who covered ‘Cars’ after a fashion), but that doesn’t make it any more relevant.
Despite what certain Republican nutbags might insist, Marilyn Manson is not guilty of causing American teens to shoot up classrooms, sacrifice hens or copulate with family pets. He can, however, be held responsible for this record, and he should pay.