[Mourning Jams] Day 23: “This Corrosion”

October 2019 is a celebration of horror and musicThis October, Daily Grindhouse is celebrating the collision between music and horror with a series of posts under the banner of Rocktoberfest 2019. There will be daily features, recurring bits, and some special posts around the subject.

Mourning Jams is your daily kick off every morning with a different music video that has some horror elements to it. Crossing genres, decades, and more, it’s a good way to get in the spooky mood this Halloween month.

They say success is the best revenge. I say it’s second best. The best form of revenge is writing a song that imitates and mocks your opponent, overshadows them completely, climbs the charts the world over, becomes a profoundly loved goth classic, and helps inspire an amazing film. By that extremely particular metric, The Sisters Of Mercy’s “This Corrosion” is the greatest act of vengeance known to man.

From the 1987 album Floodland, “This Corrosion” found Sisters Of Mercy frontman Andrew Eldritch basically by himself. Well…it was just him and Doktor Avalanche—the drum machine that the Sisters use. Most of his other bandmates had gone their own ways between 1980 and 1987—but it was the departure of lead guitarist Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams to form their own group (The Mission) that seemed to really piss off Eldritch. He began writing and recording new material (with various and hotly contested—to this day—assistance from new bandmates like Patricia Morrison) and even brought in Daily Grindhouse Hall of Famer and sunglass enthusiast Jim Steinman to help produce a couple of songs for his new album, at the heart of which lies “This Corrosion.”

Copying the style of songwriting that Hussey favored, Eldritch essentially out-Husseyed Hussey, and (with the help of a biker fetishist producer and a faithful drumbot physician) churned out a bonafide catchy tune that mocks posers who gripe about the world just to seem cool, while at the exact same time griping about the state of the world due to the pervasiveness of this cynicism and defeatism. “This Corrosion” is both ironic and utterly sincere at the exact same time which is…mindblowing.

Andrew Eldritch feels like an animal in "This Corrosion"

The video features Eldritch—in all his pale, serpentine, if-Morpheus from The Sandman-got-a-makeover-from-The Fonz glory—Morrison and other band members entrancing some post-apocalyptic hellhole and its disfigured populace with song and dance as the rain pours down. It’s basically folks cavorting as the dust settles before nuclear winter.

Edgar Wright would not only use “This Corrosion” twice in THE WORLD’S END, but he and Simon Pegg based the appearance of lead character Gary King (Pegg) on Eldritch in this era. Also, if you think about it, that final Cornetto Trilogy film kind of feels like a retconned prequel to this music video mostly made in order to explain how the world came to be (and the distinct absence of Doktor Avalanche in this video—#Justice4Avalanche). “This Corrosion” is a great song that is both mocking and genuine paired with a cool visual representation that is both depressing and a really good time.

Tune in tomorrow and every morning in October for a new music video to help start the day on the frightening foot as Halloween swiftly approaches.

Rob Dean
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