BLACK ICE: Terrible Birds: CD

Jun 27, 2007

While many of the modern goth scene’s heroes either wallow in watered-down pretentious noodling for the sake of “art,” embrace electronica’s lamest elements and/or shovel out dreck that is nothing more than bad metal with some Sister Eldritch clone mumbling along, goth’s leaner, meaner American cousin, death rock, seems to be enjoying a bit of a much needed revival thanks to the efforts of bands like the Phantom Limbs and this, one of that band’s side projects that has become a full-fledged band in its own right. Elements recalling both genres’ glory days—the gloom of early Christian Death, the dark neo-tribalism of Savage Republic and the Birthday Party, the aversion to full-on Barre chords that was once the hallmark of 4AD bands like Cocteau Twins and Xmal Deutschland, the punk rock punch of bands like Mood of Defiance or Superheroines, and vocals that borrow liberally from the Siouxsie Sioux School of Singin’—are married to the intensity in delivery that makes Phantom Limbs such hot shit, resulting in what is easily one of the best albums thus far this year. It’s really nice to hear someone revisit this style that obviously understands that the music is supposed to rock, and here’s to hoping they continue to raise a racket for some time to come.

 –jimmy (Hungry Eye)