Everything changed by the time I got to Middle School— the whole Metal/Glam era was coming to an end quickly after Nirvana was smelling like teen spirit, and I needed something new. After Metallica’s “Black Album” was a huge disappointment (for me) and Def Leppard was nowhere in sight after “Hysteria”, I started looking around for something else to quench my musical thirst.
Without any Youtube in sight, or any internet for that matter (computers were solely for writing essays and playing “Where in the World Is Carmen San Diego?” in school), in the prehistoric times of the early nineties (ha ha) you had to hear about new music from magazines, TV or word of mouth. My love for skateboarding brought me to the pages of Thrasher magazine where the funny names of bands like Dinosaur Jr. and The Dead Milkmen were steering me away from my beloved Motley Crue and Poison (farewell Hair Metal!), and luckily my cool friend Liz (the first girl I ever met with blue hair) turned me on to The Cure. She hooked me up with a copy of “Standing on a Beach” and pointed towards the road less traveled— a lot of my friends had gone the Hip Hop or the radio-rock route. After that I switched my hair from mullet to Tony Hawk comb over, and the rest is history.
My weekend trips to Juarez with my parents was usually the same: hit up grandma and the tias, take a nostalgic drive down my parents old neighborhood Melchor Ocampo and then hit up the Futurama for some good ass pan blanco. Inside of Futurama was a record store called Casa de Musica De Luxe where it was finally time to buy some new music. In 1992 I was still buying cassettes, CDs were the new thing but I didn’t have a CD player, but I had a walkman (look it up kids!), so I searched for these new bands I was getting turned on to. The new album by The Cure “Wish” was fresh out, but there was also this live album called “Entreat”, which turns out was a super rare find as it was distributed exclusively in France and had a limited European release (what the hell was it doing here in Juarez?!). Since I was looking for something new, I went with “Wish”— I wouldn’t run into “Entreat” for many years later, but I was a kid, and I wanted the new shit.
“Wish” was no disappointment at all. From beginning to end it is an epic journey of The Cure’s dynamic soundscapes— from the darkest melancholy corners of the room, to bright lit feel good moods. My goth-y friends at the time thought it was too much of a happy album, but this was the album after the epic downcast of “Disintegration”, why would you want the same thing? This was their ninth album, and their darkest hours had already passed with other albums “Pornography” and “Seventeen Seconds.” By this time The Cure had well established a sound that was favorable to some who didn’t like the brighter side of the spectrum. This was the dispute at the time with my mope-y goth-chola friends when this album came out— it’s too happy.
This album turns out is a good balance of the wide spectrum of emotions The Cure can churn out— from the uplifting vibes of songs like “High” or “Friday I’m in Love”, to the sad but beautiful tones of “Trust” or “A Letter To Elise”, you get a little bit of everything..
But this album is not all highs and lows; you get plenty of in-between with the spacey jam out of “Open” or “From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea.” The Cure was also now dabbling in psychedelia having songs way over the six minute mark, jams probably created at sound-checks playing arenas and stadiums, but never the less the balance is perfect: dark jam-y long songs, beautiful slow songs and pop-ier radio ready but good happier songs.
It didn’t have to be all doom and gloom for The Cure; Robert Smith is an amazing songwriter who would crossover genres and invent others. Remember the song “Caterpillar”? What the hell was that?
The Lost and Found
The Cure Wish LP-1992