The Cure: Robert Smith (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Simon Gallup (keyboards, bass); Laurence Tolhurst (keyboards, drums). Engineers: Phil Thornally, Mike Nocito, Robert Smith. Recorded at Rak Studio One, London, England. For a band that's known worldwide as the premier purveyors of goth-rock gloom and doom (though hardly incapable of sparkling pop gems), it's no small thing to identify a particular album as their darkest, most disturbing sonic statement. Nevertheless, PORNOGRAPHY surely fills the bill. Reportedly created during a time of great psychological upheaval for group leader Robert Smith, it's a gloriously no-holds-barred existential angst-fest, from the very first line, "It doesn't matter if we all die." Not since Leonard Cohen's SONGS OF LOVE AND HATE had despair been so lovingly ladled into album form, but it's not just Smith's Prozac prescription that was upped during these sessions. His lyrical approach expanded as well, incorporating more stream-of-consciousness poetic imagery. And the rhythmic attack of bassist Simon Gallup and drummer Lol Tolhurst reached new heights of propulsiveness and viscerality as well, whether pounding out a churning syncopation on "The Hanging Garden" or delivering the heavy-hammered nail in the coffin on "A Short Term Effect."