Album Review

Siekiera – “Nowa Aleksandria” – [Sonic]

Jim Hunter   4/27/2018   A Library, CD

Poland’s Siekiera released this “cold wave with a twist” LP in 1986. Long considered a
post-punk classic by those in the know, this angry moody release mirrors the frustration
Polish youth must have experienced while living under the watchful eye of a historically
oppressive regime. While Nowa A caries a nihilistic and apathetic vibe that runs paralell
to several western european musical contemporaries, the albums appeal to a non Polish
listenership is enhanced by Thomas Adamski’s haunting vocals sung in the vernacular of
his home country. The most obvious musical influence here is early Killing Joke. However,
elements of mid 80’s French cold  wave and hints of 4AD goth punk epitomized by Xmal
Deutschland’s 1983 release Fetisch provide additional inspiration. Angular guitar stylings
and a taut rhythm section combine with synthesizers and vocals that coalesce into a novel
sonic signature that is unmistakably distinct from their musical influences. Unfortunately,
Siekiera was never able to garner widespread interest outside of Poland in the years
since ( excepting neighboring Germany where interest in Siekiera and this album in
particular has always been high ). This long overdue addition to the
KFJC library should have wide appeal.


Note: Tracks 10-14 are bonus tracks from a 1985 EP and 7 inch. Tracks 1, 4 and 12 are my
favorites though all tracks are strong. Track 10 is an instrumental. The word Siekiera is
pronounced SEE-CARA and not surprisingly means axe in Polish.


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