Audra — Audra
(Projekt 101, 2000, CD)
Voltaire — Almost Human
(Projekt 98, 2000, CD)
by Dane Carlson, Published 2001-03-01
Audra captures the factory sound of the late 70s, of bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division. Their debut CD opens with a tasty little bit of nostalgia. “In All Our Androgyny” features an addictive bass line, simple percussion and a catchy, repetitive guitar lead. Enter the bass tones of yet another Peter Murphy imitator and you have it. Audra combines the dark pop of the gothic scene with a strong sense of the past. I find Bret Helm’s voice captivating, hauntingly familiar but with enough originality to savor. I would describe this album in the same way. Bret also plays bass and keyboards. His brother Bart (guitar, drum machine) rounds out this Arizona duo. If this CD had been trimmed to 45-50 minutes this would have been an outstanding release; as it is I find myself tiring of it at times. Strictly for fans of the above mentioned bands or all you prog-goth types.
“God thinks you’re an idiot.” So sings Voltaire. Voltaire comes off a bit heavy, but luckily he doesn’t seem to take himself as seriously as you would think. Voltaire’s voice reminds a bit of Morrissey (The Smiths). Almost Human is sung from the viewpoint of Lucifer and is strong on clever lyrics. Voltaire’s goth-pop isn’t run of the mill either, featuring a violin as a lead instrument. Admittedly I wasn’t expecting much from this one but the irreverence of “God Thinks” hooked me. Also of note are “Dead Girls” (“Have you ever loved someone who didn’t hurt you…There’s no shame, there’s no pulse!”), and the cute lyrics of “Alchemy Mondays,” in which we catch Lucifer after another night of partying. Hip gothic cleverness you might enjoy.
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more