Friday, November 21, 2014

Golden Apes : the Langsyne Litanies

How happy can goth be and still retain the name. Well if you take into consideration some of the Cure's radio songs, and no one no matter how punk rock or hipster you are is going to try and dispute Robert Smith, then you can get pretty damn happy.It took a few listens for these guys to click. The first impression this German band made upon me was Crash Test Dummies. The is partly due to the fact the guitar employs major chords more than you would expect from a goth project. There is way more theatrics in the delivery than say Rome. " Blind Eyed Boy" finds the piano even chime in with a reflectively cheerful sound. The opener has a solo Peter Murphy feel mixed with R.E.M's "Losing My Religion" .

"Ferryman" sounds like a theme that was established earlier in the album but it's darker so that works for me. More elegant than Death In June, it nails the romantic pretense of "goth". Is this apocalyptic folk? Well if you compare it against the likes of King Dude then no. It's way too lush and not under produced or soaked in re-verb. They even carry more of a sea shanty vibe on "The Archers". This is not too far from Cult of Youth's more melodic moments, but lyrical it feels like it could have been lifted from the Decemberists. There is more of the Cult of Youth like rambling on "Rosary". His vocal out put is much more dramatic,  but to the point it could stand to have less performance and more soul injected.  He does touch upon it like on the line "I'm drifting away"  on "Blind Eyed Boy". His baritone has room to stretch out and sing on this one . Often he feels like he is stifling him self, making his melodies come across as a little stiff.

They album works best on the moments where there is a more melancholy choice of instruments like the cello on "Digging Towers." His vocals even find more passion to them when they are given more to work around. At times the folk elements come across like a goth version of the Pogues, but this is listen a pretty enjoyable listen. The rolling ballad "White Days" captures the feeling they are going for but even with the build at the chorus falls a little flat on my ears. The instrumental outro that closes the album might remind long time fans of their earlier more blatantly goth work. Still I like the vibe this album creates since it's been a long time since Peter Murphy did something like this , these guys carry the torch well even if it means leaving some of there more post punk elements behind in the growth process. I'll give this a 9.

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