In entirely unshocking news, I shall now reveal that I've spent a lot of time in the gothic scene. The opportunities for dress-up along with the potential for gallows humor* are my favorite parts about that type of music. Bands like 45 Grave and Alien Sex Fiend incorporate the bizarre and the punk in a way that makes my black little heart sing. Over time, the scene has sort of fragmented and found expression in forms that I'll dub Gothic Outliers for the sake of brevity. It might not be Goth Proper, but it's certainly Stuff Goths Like (as much as they'll admit to liking anything).
* I will never understand Serious Bid'niz goths--it is inherently ridiculous to dress like Dracula; please act like you're enjoying yourself
New York City's own Psychocharger plays a brand of horror-infused psychobilly that could compel a dead man stomp his feet. Their driving hard-rock riffs power their stage shows, which are universally blood-spattered, ridiculous, and loud-loud-LOUD. Psychocharger plays regularly across the States, and are currently supporting their album "Mark of the Psycho."
Psychocharger Official Website
Another one of New York's finest dark rock acts is Blacklist, whose sound lives somewhere between the Sisters of Mercy and the more recent wave of coolly disaffected bands like Interpol and Franz Ferdinand. This is one of those bands that should be way more well-known than they are--their music is melodic, catchy, and infinitely dark-dancefloor-ready. Notably, Blacklist is signed to Wierd Records, which is a veritable treasure trove of cold wave and minimalist synth acts.
OK, so I was trying to steer clear of bands that have recently broken up, but I was hard-pressed to dig up a cold wave band I liked more than The Vanishing. It takes significant artistry to sound THIS unhinged and THIS disaffected all at once. Their albums "Still Lifes are Failing" and "Songs for Psychotic Children" are fantastic explorations of icy fury and madness. Then again, I enjoy any of the millions of remixes of Malaria's "Kaltes Klares Wasser" and the Normal's "Warm Leatherette," so please take my tastes with a grain of salt.
The Evil Streaks
Garage band The Evil Streaks are part of the Necro-Tone Records stable (itself part of Massachusetts' thriving retro-rock scene), springing from the same talent pool that brought us spooky surf acts Gein and the Graverobbers and The Crimson Ghosts. Inspired in equal parts by late-night horror flicks, the Cramps and vintage girl groups, The Evil Streaks are a bit like an reverb-ier Zombina and the Skeletones. Check out their MySpace page for upcoming show dates!
Read all the Tenebrous Music Week posts here.