I have to echo a colleague’s recent review and ponder the question of whether “Goth” is looked on as a musical swear word these days? Take Fotocrime for example. They have no problem admitting it is “Always Night” but there is no mention of the “G” word anywhere on their press blurb, Facebook or Bandcamp pages. The mention of post-punk is there for all to see as so are allusions to early German EBM (which I would have thought was far more embarrassing than the Goth word). The simple fact is though, that this band including members of post-hardcore groups Coliseum and Young Windows and hailing from N. America are about as Gothic as a wet weekend in Leeds in the midst of the 80’s. Embrace your’ inner darkness, kiss a bat, drench yourselves in patchouli oil, we won’t think any less of you.
Cuddling its inner Skeletal Family from the very first bangle-jangle of a guitar line this might only be short at 22 mins long but it packs more snakebite and black in its bones than a night out at the Batcave in 1982. I’m choking on the fumes still polluting the atmosphere from Balaam And The Angel’s extra hold hairspray budget on realising that Mother is a drum machine adding even more authenticity to this and it’s not long before the eldritch vocal tones join in either. Well the song is called ‘Duplicate Days’ and I am having them here that’s for sure and I am wallowing in the groups very own temple of love. It’s a cracking song though and gets right in the head so I am not complaining in the slightest. ‘At Play In The Night Tide’ sombrely chugs in and strides off in a black trench-coat, Nosferatu (the band) like in pointed boots and with high cheekbones. Some backing female vocals add to the darkness neatly and those classic bass tones could almost be provided by Patricia Morrison herself. So the EBM of ‘The Trance Of Love’ (Ghost Dance beat them to ‘The Grip Of Love’ ahem) is as much Sheffield as it is Germany to my ears, there’s a touch of early Human League here as that’s where it came from in the first place and now Synth Wave is all the rave. Dry ice and confetti from the stalls fills the air on ‘Always Hell.’ How many bands does this sound like, loads, many forgotten by most and most of them supported the Sisters back in the day. It’s an anthem and a half and makes me long for those days back in The Town And Country Club and The Marquee. Best of the bunch though is the jagged twitchy energy of ‘Plate Glass Eyes’ yep this one is the Red Lorry Yellow Lorry number of the bunch. This lot may well have da kids thinking they have found the best new thing out there but these clothes are well worn and falling apart like sackcloth and ashes. Offering not much but getting Chelsea Wolfe’s compadre Ben Chisholm in on the remix act is an ambient brooder Tectonic Shift closing things off and perhaps hinting the group may update to a Trent Reznor direction in the future.
Anyone who calls this EP from Fotocrime original needs a damn good history lesson. Luckily the band doesn’t and does this really well and it’s just as well that I like it so much. Still at the end of the day, bloody Goths!
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)