Friday, June 15, 2007

Coming Soon.

I'm working on a review of the new Danzig. Should be up rather shortly, as soon as I finish composing my thoughts on it.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Marilyn Manson-Eat Me Drink Me

Why do I only get promos of mall-goth records? Somebody fire my agent.

ANYWAY. So, the ol' Antichrist Superstar himself has a new record coming out, next week or some-such, and here it is, in my mailbox. I waited until I got home to listen to it, because honestly, who wants to be seen in their car listening to such crap? Instant loss of scene points, right there. ;) I'm not going to waste my time and yours on an in-depth review of this, just a few notes on a song-by-song basis. And on to the review.

"If I Was Your Vampire"-Sisters of Mercy-style guitars kick off the record on a good note, with Manson's vocals sounding the most genuinely goth they have since...well, ever. It's promising enough, but then the chorus starts and it turns into goff-medhul. Pretty predictable stuff, not terrible for what it is, but Christ, is it obvious.

"Putting Holes In Happiness"-The guitar line rips off New Order's "Love Vigilantes" something fierce, transforming it from a bouncy new wave jam into a nearly Guns N Roses-style anthem. Um. Next.

"The Red Carpet Grave"-I kinda like this one, it's the most interesting thing musically Manson's ever done, jaunty and distinctly a-rhythmic. Once again, the chorus is predictable, but the guitars are at least interesting, particularly on the second verse where they're kind of buzzing away in the background. The lyrics are...well, typical Manson, going on about celebrities and sex. Doesn't he have anything else to talk about?

"Just A Car Crash Away" -I know I've heard that drum line before. And the guitar sounds familiar too. Can't place it. Anyway, the song goes on nicely in a power ballad kind of way. Have I mentioned their are predictable choruses? And guitar solos? There's a lot of those. Those are also predictable, total cock-rock, I'm guessing due to Tim Skold being the guitarist now.

"Heart Shaped Glasses"-Manson's cashing in on Franz Ferdinand here. I like the bells in the tune, and the rhythms of the steam-engine sounding keyboards, and there's a lot of delay on the guitars. If it weren't for that chorus...

"Evidence"-This one tricks the mind, sounding like a little tin music box fading into space for the strangely beautiful intro, then martial drums enter, and it's all gorgeous. Even Manson's vocals and (stupid) lyrics don't get in the way, it's perfect....until it suddenly gets a dose of metal injected on the chorus, turning it into something that wouldn't sound strange coming from the likes of HIM. Which means it's terrible. God, what a shame, he had me there too.

"Are You The Rabbit?"-Nice little jazzy finger-snaps at the beginning until the guitars kick in and, once again, it becomes a horrendous piece of HIM-esque goth-metal. Sigh.

"Mutilation Is The Most Sincere Form Of Flattery"-I almost like the title and almost want to smack myself for doing so. The song itself? Well, it's better than the last couple of songs, except for the repeated coda of "Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you too" Do people still say Manson writes good lyrics? I sincerely hope not.

"You And Me And The Devil Makes Three"-Let me guess...judging from the title...I'll take horrible goth metal for a thousand. Alex? Congratulations, you have just won Family Fued!

"Eat Me Drink Me"-Well, it's better than the last piece of shit. That says nothing, considering that song was easily the worst of the bunch. Atmospheric guitars stolen from NIN's "The Fragile," some throbbing bass, once again, not terrible if you ignore the predictability of the chorus. You know what this sounds like? Not just this song, but the album? The Cult. Late period Cult, with horrible vocals and know, like late period Cult.

So what have we got? 11 songs with predictable choruses, a lot of wanky guitar solos, and a bunch of wasted musical potential. The mall-goths will love it, as usual, and the rest of us will our eyes. As usual.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Just a quick heads up, Entertainme.nt have a new demo up on their myspace. Go check it out.

As always, it's amazing. Hey guys, how about finishing that record up soon?

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Horrors-"Strange House"

Well then, here we are. The Horrors' debut album proper, after an ep and several singles. You know most of the best songs here, "Jack The Ripper" and "Sheena Is A Parasite," namely, two songs that are fairly Screaming Lord Sutch by numbers, but not in a bad way, "Jack" being particularly good, with gang vocals, great guitar sounds, and an organist that's obtrusive but not obnoxious. So on to the rest of the album. Unfortunately, none of the new songs quite work, which I'll admit, is a bit of an understatement. To be frank, they annoy more often than anything else, organist Spider Webb (yes, seriously) is given a very prominent role on the album, and his frequently techno-ish frills distract from the songs more often than they do contribute to them, and this is unfortunate, because without him, the songs would frequently work quite well. "Draw Japan" and "Death At The Chapel," in particular, highlight guitarist Joshua Von Grimm, and he creates something rather impressive, a mixture of surf/noise work that can only be likened to Thurston Moore and Dick Dale getting into a guitar duel. It's not all good news on his front, however, as on "Gloves" and "A Train Roars" where he frequently comes close to nu-metal depths of idiocy with his instrument, drawing out repetitive, start-stop riffs that get under the skin in ways only the likes of Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson are wont to do.

One of the larger problems with the Horrors is the fact that lead singer Faris Rotter is simply not a very accomplished vocalist. While this is not usually a big problem in horror-rock music, it tends to grate when half of the album slips by without a notice of Faris doing much of anything other than shouting in an unobtrusive manner. In this genre, the singer is there to sell the band, to make his presence known, and to generally spout evil-sounding soliloquys that support the image. Faris does none of these things, just shouting one note, screaming every once in a while, perhaps, but generally, you just don't even notice he's there, and that's an unforgivable sin.

This album is not, strictly speaking, a bad album. It's just painfully mediocre. Too much of it passes by without notice, and the songs that do stand out do so more often by virtue of their faults than anything else, and that's a sad state of affairs, as the Horrors seem perfectly competent of doing something astounding. They've already got the attention of the press, which is more than any other genuinely goth band has done in years, but what they've chosen to do with it is disappointing. Here's hoping they come up with more next time.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Does anyone have a suggestion for a reliable file uploading site? The ones I'm trying are not working at all.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Greg Sage-Straight Ahead

Greg Sage was the lead singer/guitarist for seminal punk band the Wipers. In 1985, he put out this, "Straight Ahead," his first solo album. Rather more gloomy and down-beat than his main band, the songs are often gorgeous displays of post-punk moodiness married to a singer/songwriter sensibility. For a stylistic reference point, think Mekons.