Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gothtober - Clan of Xymox : "Spider on the Wall"

 I am not sure how I missed this one when it came out back in July, but here we are. The vocals are dreamier than normally. The band blends modern sounds with their more classic sound. The synths are very 90s techno. By the second song what I like about thius album is already appaerent . It is darker than their 2017 album "All I Ever Know" . If you told me the song " Into the Unknown ' was a deep cut from an 80s album, I would believe. This certainly should please the elder goth fan base. I mean do the new crop of goth kids who are not in bands like Bootblacks know who Clan of Xymox is. 59 year old Ronny Moorings is the sole orginal song writer and he is leaning more into the dancey new wave side that would give birth to dark wave. For his age his voice has held up well. I do not think even at their peak these guys were the caliber of musicians the Cure are. Smith was a more powerful and emotive singer than Moorings. But these guys always worked well with what skills they did have. 

The self depricating " I Don't Like Myself" works of a hypnotic drone that drifts away with you by creating a narcotic sonic quality. It is simple in design but one of the album's most effective songs. The title track is darker and wallows in it's misery more, but is also less focused of a song. This sound vs song comes into play even with these veterans. I prefer the darker groove of "When We Were Yong" which is text book goth without imitating anyone. The beat is pretty simple , but everything sits just where it should while sounding just as it should. "Black Mirror" is more relaxed , but true to it's title a litle more futuristic, though not as bleak. The vocals are lowered and more urgent.

"My New Lows" find them digging in the darkness to almost reach a Sisters of Mercy level. Some of this is in part to the lower vocals. Ronny is a good enough singer to be forced to stay down there and offer more than just one vocal color. There is more of a new wave dancey thing going on for the otherwise droning closing song. I will give this album a 9. I really enjoyed it, is it perfect ? No. It is a suitable addition to their discography. If you are a fan you were already on this train back in July and still riding. 

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