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About the Author
Steven Ghillany is a musician and writer. He’s lived in many different places and likes even more different types of music. His dark deeds are fueled by his lust for blood (some days). His site, Notes Unearthed, is entirely devoted to post-punk, deathrock and gothic music.
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In Rotation, May 2008
Steven Ghillany
The Brides – Sofa City Sweetheart
Track Listing: Intro, Needs and Luxuries, New Shocks, Who Cares If You Dance, Got It, Fifty Years, Too Touchy-Feely, Chances With Girls, Just Because Your Days Are Numbered, Adult Entertainment, Put Me Back To Sleep, Ravens From Crows, Triopoly City, Noir Aware, Soviet Voque.
The first CD to land on my desk this month was from The Brides. While their signature blend of kitsch, charm, and a liberal helping of good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll help to give this album a bit of cohesion, true to form, this offering from The Brides listens like a schizophrenic jukebox trying to detox from its meds. While the tracks as individuals easily stand up to scrutiny in most cases, as a complete composition, the disc threatens to unravel itself with songs like “Put Me Back To Sleep” that successfully merge vintage style vocals with a more modern accompaniment, but feel oddly out of place, especially when juxtaposed with “Ravens From Crows”.
Overall, this is a great attempt for a band I can see slowly metamorphosing as they come to terms with a more concrete sound. I look forward to seeing where they’ll go with it next.
The Funeral Crashers – La Fin Absolue Du Monde
Track Listing: Menlo Park, Disconnected, Safe, Faithless Sons, Whisper, A Personal Vendetta, Blackout Days, Mystery Hand, Malediction, Uninvited Guest, Video Killer, Nuclear Man, Curtain Rise/Curtain Fall.
Fans of gothic rock and death rock rejoice! You will have something new to listen to. The Funeral Crashers present a strong showing in their debut LP with many moody, sharp, guitar riffs and sometimes poppy, sometimes punky drumbeats. While the instrumentation is often more from the punk side of death rock, lead singer P.H. Lovecraft is successful at being the Bauhaus-era Peter Murphy the man himself stopped being long ago. His almost whiny, sometimes passive-aggressive verbal assault makes tracks like "Nuclear Man" and "Video Killer" all the more solid amidst driving dancefloor rhythms.
This New York based band stands to make a big splash in the death rock community and I would definitely expect to hear more from them in the future, both on CD and in the nightclubs as they garner more attention.
Moodorgan – Process EP
Track Listing: Treasure - Process Mix, In the Same Place - Catalog Mix, Velveteen, Night to Day - Process Mix, Darkness + Darkness Reprise, Any Other Day [At Least].
Without too much background on Moodorgan to begin with, I was a little unsure what to expect from this cd, especially considering most of the tracks are remixes. The often complex musical soundscapes should please fans of dance music across genres, but the mixes often stray from what might normally be considered a darkwave/synthpop style into the realms of futurepop, with tracks like “In The Same Place” echoing styles similar to those of Convenant and Wolfsheim’s more danceable tunes. Overall, the selection, while very danceable, takes on generic and homogenous features such that, while enjoyable for the dance enthusiast, this album does not really stand out as exceptionally good or bad.
Andrew Liles – The Dying Submariner (A Concerto for Piano and Reverberation in Four Movements)
Track Listing: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV.
Soothing. It sneaks up on you like the ocean on the shoreline, ever so gently flowing in until your feet are covered. Until the third movement, there is little sense of trepidation and it seems the only emotional tone is one of despair. While at times this disc threatens to lose the interest of listeners not committed to hearing it out, Liles does an excellent job of capturing the very nature of the marine environment often with shifting arpeggios arranged in a manner not necessarily obvious.
For more information, check out Andrew Liles’ website.
Distorted Reality – Daydreams and Nightmares
Track Listing: Never Change, Get a Clue (duet with Julia Beyer/Technoir), Forever, I am Waiting, Those Eyes, Tag fur Tag (Feat Andreas Meyer/Forma Tadre), Will You Love Me?, Something Wicked, Into The Night, Rebel Yell, Something Wicked - Remix by In Strict Confidence, Never Change - Remix by Chris L. (Agonize), Something Wicked - Insanity Mix by Daniel Myer (Houjobb/Destroid), Never Change - Remix by Dust of Basement, Will You Love Me? - Sea of Love by Das Ich, Rebel Yell (Live Mix).
This electro/EBM duo featuring front woman Martha Arce fails to impress on any meaningful level in terms of instrumentation until you get to the last few tracks on the album. The remix assists from various sources are desperately needed to jazz up the otherwise very bland accompaniment. Ms. Arce’s vocal patterning is very predictable and the lyrical subject matter and general style come off as immature. The most standout tracks would be numbers 13 and 14 with Daniel Myer and Dust demonstrating that the music doesn’t have to be so generic.
For more information, check out Distorted Reality’s website.
Soriah – Ofrendas de Luz a Los Muertos
Track Listing: Ofrendez de Luz a Los Muertos, Esqueleto Chapulin.
Its hard to review an album with only two tracks. It reminds me of college and high school years of being handed a cassingle as you walk out of the record store. I almost expect some crazy music store employee to run up to me and be like, “pssst... don’t tell anyone about these guys... they’re too good.”
Both of the offerings on this CD are more noise collage experiments than actual songs. While they don’t fit the oppressive styles of other noise collage acts like Negativeland, as they are more subtle and atmospheric, there does not appear to be any consistent structure or rhythm to the cuts outside of tonal similarities in terms of range and frequency. The tracks threaten to lose interest at times, because there is a lot of open space to them filled only with a faint buzzing, but it is certainly worth at least a single listen.
For more information, check out Soriah’s website.