It’s not easy to do a good goth album. I don’t mean ‘goth-influenced’, or ‘witchhouse’ or whatever. I mean straight-up gawwwthhhh, which Kiss of The Fang unmistakably is. Where Vancouver’s Animal Bodies get it right is by seemingly sidestepping the whole idea of a goth scene and getting straight to the music.
Goths have been steadily crapping up their own music and social scene since around 1985, when they all simultaneously decided to stop being weird artsy punks and become sad vampires. As a consumer culture, if new music doesn’t take place directly under their noses, safely tucked within comfortable scene aesthetics, they generally don’t want to know about it. Fortunately, the young always conquer the old, and those with a penchant for the darker side of things now have massive amounts of information and cross-genre reconceptualitzations to inspire them. Animal Bodies have seemingly chosen from the finest—the dour intonations, tribal drummings and shuffling guitar dirges of early goth acts like Skeletal Family and Bauhaus are present, as well as minimal wave (‘Jungle Cathedral’) and the blown-out electronic evil of Bay Area death-disco that calls to mind the heavier moments of Sixteens or The Vanishing. The stuttering drum machines and beseeching siren/mad succubus vocals of ‘Venus Transit’ and ‘Thought & Consequence’ form the perfect climax, elegant post-punkisms with just the right amount of art-damage.
Most people would consider goth to be an ‘underground’ subculture, but the truth is that it’s been under the sun for quite some time, and the view isn’t pretty. But dig below the strata of ren-faire rejects and ill-fitting corsets and you find the real weirdos, the punks and freaks who are still crafting sounds that make you remember that a lot of goth music is actually pretty sick. Be sure to catch them this Fall when they make their European debut at the legendary Drop Dead Festival!