Strobelight Records

It isn’t unusual to find compilations having a certain theme, as they are often a labour of love by certain individuals for a very specific reason, but in the case of this high quality archive collection, we don’t have any actual explanation for why it has been done, or any reason why one track was chosen over another. It simply leaves you with a very good selection of tracks that most Goths under the age of 25 will be largely unfamiliar with. I’m assuming that may be the actual point.

If it was one bag placed among many, some astute passer-by might pick it up, look inside at the contents and shout, wildly, ‘this is a mixed bag!’ at which point an unseemly crowd might gather. This would be understandable, because it flaps about from Post-Punk and early Deathrock through to Goth and experimental. So the rough pustular drama of ‘Death Disco’ by Exedra isn’t a PIL cover, but sees basic programming pushed to the limit, then Mephisto Waltz’s ‘Hunter’s Trail’ is the most colourful Goth sounds being threshed. ’Staring’ sees Corpus Deliciti being grandly poised, Passion Play are relaxed and mannered during ‘Running On Empty’ and Chrome are a curio. Their ‘In A Dream’ has phased, smeary vocals, set against footling syndrums and squidgy guitar.

Sunshine Blind’s ‘Regodless’ is efficiently rising, melodic Goth angst, Children On Stun is nicely cantankerous, darting Goth Rawk, and then nursery-age drum machine and earnest synth of ‘Fliehende Sturme’ bemuses me. ‘Die Axt’ seemed like a down at heel DAF to me, just as Rikk Agnew’ ‘Falling Out’ generally strikes me as perky poppy punk with almost ludicrously fast vocal spats. Madre Del Vizio’as ‘Stanza’ is lovely, with its criss-cross Goth guitar and thrash-in-waiting drum punctuation, creating classy atmospherics. By contrast Superheroines’ ‘Apathy’ is an immediately passionate, endearingly clumsy song, top-heavy through rockist guitar tendencies.

‘Creeping Death’ by Calling Dead Red Roses is interesting, full-bodied Goth with moody vocals, Vendemmian’s ‘This Bleeding Heart’ catches them at their mobile best; mid-paced but with decorative guitar and convincing vocals, although it is Play Dead who score the best vocal display during the sparse sounding, bass-swayed ‘Sin Of Sins’. Best song maybe goes to Stimmen Der Stille who’d I’d never really heard before, that I recall, and ‘Sahara’ seems to reveal them as a post-Punk version of Xmal, with a gentler feel. Pin Turns Blue seem an odd choice, like a bland ‘Cassandra Complex, so ‘Missing You’ did nothing for me, and Modern Eon’s ‘Euthenics’ had lots of bass, twangy guitar and some sax, none of which seemed terribly cohesive. It was left to Sex Gang to nail the thing down, with ‘Barbarossa’ flaunting a constant drum battery, guitar hovering just below the helium-fuelled Andi and his crystalline delivery.

All in all, highly recommended for anyone of above-average inquisition.

http://www.dead-babies.de/index.html (Stimmen Der Stille info)