Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Principe Valiente - Choirs of Blessed Youth (2014)



Principe Valiente
Choirs of Blessed Youth

Surprisingly upbeat and lush, Principe Valiente charges the storm front with absolute demure and charisma. The first song is a sunrise of effervescence as The Son I'll Never Be draws you from beneath 6 feet of soft soil. Fernando Honorato's heavenly vocals envelopes the ears with wall to wall reverb; it's as if Brendan Perry of  Dead Can Dance fronted a shoegaze interpretation of Belong.

Choirs of Blessed Youth is the second full length album (released by Afmusic) from this Swedish post-punk/shoegaze band. For a band to invoke such beauty they sure pack plenty of energy and excitement! Take Me With You, the first single, demonstrates this observation quite lovely with it's catchy chorus and dense guitar/keyboard work. The next stop is She Never Returned, a song that gradually laments of lost love and falling slow motion into the ocean backwards.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Neva - Fausse Conscience (1989)

Neva
Fausse Conscience 
Darkside Records

Before Eat Your Makeup, before Eyaculacion Post-Mortem, before Cinema Strange, in the beginning, there was Neva. The band formed in Saint-Quentin, north of France, at the very start of the 1980’s, with the scary eccentric character impersonated by Jacquy Bitch as lead singer. They launched the Batcave / Deathrock sound in France, and remain a cult band and a great influence on the scene thanks to their bursting creativity and legendary theatrical shows. Fausse Conscience is their last album, released on cassette tape in 1989, and re-issued in 1999 on CD. As a witness of its time, it probably marks the end of an era: shortly after that Neva would disband and Jacquy Bitch would begin a solo career, and the 90’s would see the end of the first wave of Gothic Rock.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Wake - Masked (1993)

The Wake 
Masked
Cleopatra Records

Twenty one years ago (I was in denial about how long ago) Cleopatra Records released a classic Gothic rock masterpiece called Masked, the first full length album from the Ohio based band The Wake. This album is aggressive, a controlled fire, manic and dark in it's delivery from Richard Witherspoon's sonic guitar distortion to Troy Payne's Sisters inspired vocals.

For those who were Goth in the 90's, there was no shortage of bands sounding similar to Eldritch in the vocal department. The Wake were no exception, but at least set a standard for how great a Gothic Rock band could be (for those waiting hopelessly for the next Sisters album which may or may never come). Though it's familiar sounds drew in the fans, its bellicose delivery fit perfectly with the (then) current musical climate of aggression and cynicism.