In the ranks of un-google-able bands, Matt Johnson’s post-punk outfit The The outdoes even The Band. Johnson busted out of the gate in the early 80s with a great voice and considerable songwriting chops (not to mention some now-dated dance beats), but it took Johnny Marr joining the group, in his first post-Smiths move, for many of us to take notice. Most folks claim that Mind Bomb, Marr’s first effort with the group, is their masterpiece. I prefer the introspective soul of Dusk. Marr’s shimmering guitars and frankly ingenious harmonica playing was a perfect match for Johnson’s dark croon and existential lyrics. Their single “Slow Emotion Replay” happens to be not only one of the strongest British singles of the early 90s, it may boast the greatest harmonica hook of all time – no joke. Yet as great as “Slow Emotion Replay” is, Dusk’s real highpoint may be the stunning acoustic gospel of “Love Is Stronger Than Death,” Johnson’s heartfelt, totally non-pious but surprisingly resurrection-centered eulogy for his brother:

Me and my friend were walking
In the cold light of mourning
Tears may blind the eyes
But the soul is not deceived
In this world even winter ain’t what it seems

Here come the blue skies
Here comes springtime
When the rivers run high and the tears run dry
When everything that dies
Shall rise

Love, love, love
Is stronger than death
Love, love, love
Is stronger than death

In our lives we hunger
For things we cannot touch
All the thoughts unuttered
All the feelings unexpressed
Play upon our hearts like the mist upon our breath

But awoken by grief, our spirits speak
“How could you believe
That the life within the seed
That grew arms that reached
And a heart that beat
And lips that smiled
And eyes that cried
Could ever die?”

Bonus Track: Johnson’s follow-up to Dusk was 1995’s way underrated Hanky Panky, a collection of Hank Williams’ covers. His foot-stomping version of “I Saw The Light” is phenomenal and, dare I say, even worshipful.