Gothic disapproval. A "review" of Razor Blade Kisses

This short ‘review’ is an answer to an open challenge from the members of Razor Blade Kisses, a goth band that I stumbled over a couple of days ago, and incidently – made fun of. (For more, see: Maddox’ Regressive Party‘s pamphlet, section on Vampire hunting)

Being a former band-member (but of-soul-music-lover) I’ve learned to be quite critical on music, lyrics and appeal to audience. At least that’s what I think, and for all that I’m concerned, that’s what matters. I’m based on a grunge-foundation, however, starting up with Nirvana and Soundgarden and not stuff as heavy as goth. Even though I’d say ol’ classics as Rachmaninov’s 3rd. Piano Concerto or Tom Waits’ Bone Machine kicks further ass on everything. So, my judgement will naturally be pretty different from what someone used to this kind of music would have said. I’ll be honest, if nothing. ("And if the milk turns sour, I’m not the kind of pussy to drink it!"*)

I had a short go at their song called A Death in the Dollhouse, but the leader temptress of the band meant that I was unfair, saying that their music was bad based on hearing only one track. So I downloaded the other 2 available: Illusions and Lure of the Temptress. I’m not going to say anything about what the band has written about their own work, but I might be so rude as to present you with a link where you can download their MP3s as well.

I still think what I thought about A Death in the Dollhouse: "it sounded like an unexperienced churchboy choir accompanied by an automated keyboard."

Illusions: Some industrial sound to it, which is always cool, but too lifeless (and pseudo-original**) piano and violin layers. The vocals are too close the lead melody, and it lacks spirit. I miss some real singing, not humming. I know you can do it, gals! The refrain, if that’s what it is, is pretty overshadowed by a 80’s bass which – in my ears – is totally out of place. It sounds like putting a peacock next to a swine and comparing. Or vice versa.
Looking at the lyrics of Illusions.. Oh. On a second thought, let’s not.

Lure of Temptress: The title is pretty neat, sounds like an arabic add-on to tetris, or a follow-up on Prince of Persia. Looking on the music, LOTT is the one track closest to being music of the three tracks I’ve heard. It has got a fat guitar sound (lots of fuzz, pretty 80’s yet forgivable), a snare-based rythm doing well, and vocals actually fitting the rest of the melodic scenery. Not too original, not un-original. The thing is, I can’t place it. Where am I to listen to this music? At concert? No. It’s too weak. Lying on my couch at home? No. It’s too up-beat. While washing up the dishes? Perhaps. Yes. Or cleaning the bathroom. In other words, it’s got actual potential. Congrats! The lyrics are functioning well.

Concerning live performances I haven’t got much to say, ’cause I haven’t been to any. Still, I’m really hoping that the liveclips (.mov) at the Gallery page is a couple of years old. I mean, this is a band with practically no charm at all. I don’t know how this goth thing works, and if it’s about giving a damn about what’s going on on stage, then they’ve really got the hang of it. I’m not saying that there should be any jumping (although, in those dresses, it probably would attract some attention:) or disco-coreography, just a little more fire. You can have a fire burning inside of you without jumping. It’s called charisma. The two singers of RazorBladeKisses looks, on the recordings available, as if they’re waiting to get finished with the gig and go on home to watch "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I would like to see them in person, though, before I slay them. Metaphorically speaking, of course. This could be a not so good gig, which covers more than 50% of the ones we used to have, and let’s not neglect the possibility of the cameraman/-woman being a real jerk at shooting. Nice looking dresses, though. Real nice.

I’m not writing all of this because I don’t care about them. If I didn’t care about them I wouldn’t go through all of this trouble to tell you that***. Which is why I turn the challenge over: if you, RBK, release something that I like, you’ve really done it. When we did our first release, nobody liked it, not even ourselves. You’ve got to press on, right? I’m just being a little perfectionist here, but then I’ve always been. But you can sleep without trouble tonight, after all – ’cause what am I? Just a self-righteous idiot with opinions.. right?

You can stop by their webpage Razor Blade Kisses.com, have a look at the gallery, download a tune and sign the guestbook. You should follow these temptresses and temptors(?) closely, however, ’cause they’re due to release an album soon and they might drop by a concert-hall near you. Or a chapel or something. Just remember to wear garlic. I wish them all well and good luck!

(* Quote from Lock, Stock and two smoking barrels.)
(** Meaning not original at all, but trying to be.)
(*** I’m going through this at the office, so I’ll have a good time explaining to the colleagues that I’m actually _not_ worshipping satan. Or sacrificing any goats. Some people, eh?)

4 thoughts on “Gothic disapproval. A "review" of Razor Blade Kisses”

  1. Well you certainly are opinionated, and TBH, we don’t really care too much.

    We are flattered that you spend so much time slating us, I’m sure not everyone gets such special attention.

    For the record, all 3 MP3’s are recorded in a 6’x5′ box room with a shitty soundcard, a crap microphone and a woefully underspec’d PC. Added to which no sound engineer has been anywhere near them. So to say they are rough cuts is an understatement.

    and those vid clips aren’t just from a bad gig, they are from our first gig, where we nearly gave up due to horrendous sound issues. So the girls look a little disheartened. Given the same circumstances you’d have trouble wringing a smile out of your face I’m sure.

    Everyone starts somewhere, and no-one is liked by everyone. Damn it’d be a boring world if everyone was universally liked.

    So we continue with what we do, cos we like it, as do others. and we’ll quite happily laugh off any affront based on mere opinion, cos at the end of the day, we won’t change to pander to anyone’s ideas of what we should be.

    We are proud of our music
    We are proud that you don’t like it.
    We wouldn’t have it any other way, cos then life would be truely boring…

  2. Gotto dig it:)

    On recording, I think it could do you justice to put that warning sign above them. Of course, now that I’m mentioning it, you won’t do it, but then..

    On the vid clip: I thought it sounded bad, but I wasn’t sure wether it was the camera or not. They tend not to catch the full picture in any way:) If it was your first, it was good:)

    Concerning “anyone’s ideas of what we should be” I totally agree with you. Still, I’d like to say that one of the reasons I featured you was because I’ve never heard goth before. Believe you me, this went pretty darn well:D

    And I meant what I said: Good luck!

  3. Goth these days is so fractured, that to get a decent overview you really need to look at a wide range of bands.
    Some are very rock, some are far more punk, some are more electro.
    TBH, there aren’t a huge amount of goth bands that sound the way we do.

    The scene is waaaay too fragmented for it’s own good, but at the same time, it all adds variety.

    The current “popular” iteration of goth is called “deathrock”, far more punky, way more cliched, good because it’s bad (much like 70’s/80’s UK punk), etc…

  4. Right about that. I mean, nobody can actually hate Jon Bon Jovi? I mean, his lyrics stinks, his music is so orchestrated that you wonder wether it’s actually someone down underneath all the reverb and fuzz, but nobody CAN dislike him. It’s like a law. Jon Bon Jovi, holy saint.

    I’ll have to check out more goth, I see.

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