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Wake, The – “Masked” – [Cleopatra Records]

youbitch

This is not the UK Pop band, but the Ohio Goth Rock group formed in 1986! This 1993 CD was their debut album, released on the loved-and-hated Cleopatra Records of Los Angeles. I’m going to level with you: this band is a (pre-’Floodland’) Sisters of Mercy clone. Soundalikes like this are probably the reason that Sister Superior Andrew Eldritch spent so much of his career slagging off Cleopatra and disavowing the Goth appellation.

Semi-plagiarism apart, there’s some great energy here. And it is Goth ROCK, with barely a Wave in sight despite the angular tunes. The macho, guitar-reliant sound is borne along by really beefy workmanship from the two guitarists and bassist; I think I heard keys on maybe one song. The sultry operatic male vocals are perfectly pretentious, summoning Peter Murphy as well as Uncle Andy. The use of real drums also helps make this a little harder than a lot of its influences. Sometimes it hints at a more listenable version of The Cult. T.4 may be a dig at the suicidal excesses of certain early-90s rock personalities, and I want to believe that T.7 is a love song to Twin Peaks’ Sherilyn Fenn. The last track’s a little weird.

Histrionic gloom meets solid post-punk songwriting acumen; see also Holy Orange, The March Violets, Fields of the Nephilim…

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 2, 2017 at 6:24 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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