Music Reviews

Jun 05 2007
Title: Reference Version
Format: CD
Label: Frightdoll Records (@)
Distributor: Audioglobe
Rated: *****
Personal project of a girl heading from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Frightdoll is one of the few solo woman projects of the e.b.m. scene (I remember of Yendri and Unter Null. Zombie Girl doesn't count because she's not alone). Being able to be there and demonstrate that a girl is able to create the same work a man is able to, despite the fact that we think we are a into a society where men and women are equal, isn't easy and on the musical world this is so true. I'm the first one who's picky about woman's vocals but don't ask me why. Instinct? Dunno. Musical taste I like to think, because I like women vocals into punk music but I'm picky when women sound all ethereal with those whisperings which wish to enchant the listeners. Anyway, we aren't talking about ethereal vocals on this case because the girl behind Frightdoll and behind her futuristic goth look, is able to create a good blend of future pop ("Unit" sounds also a little synthpop and it's a nice instrumental track as well as "Gravity" is a good electro dark pop tune) and e.b.m. Her voice is often filtered or slightly effected and her style is functional to her dark mid tempo songs. Composed using only virtual equipment REFERENCE VERSION is working well without no overproduction or particular tricks. The album grows with as the tracklist proceed and if the first three songs have similar atmospheres, from the fourth one Frightdoll style starts to reveal all its surprises showing a lot of influences and intriguing melodies. I liked her style, her sound and you could check her tracks at her myspace page here:
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Artist: IDIOT STARE (@)
Title: Welcome To Babylon
Format: CD
Label: Bodybag Productions
Distributor: DSBP
Rated: *****
IDIOT STARE, the official follow-up project of the US-Cyberpunk/Industrial legend STG returns after a longer time in hiatus with a completely new album. While the band members of this act have changed several times through the years, the current line-up consists of Chad Bishop, Bruce King , Blayne, Brittain Alexander (both ex-INSIGHT 23) and Alan "Alien8" Premselaar – a fact which caused a "WOW" from me. If I have to intervene to a "name-your-favorite-top-ten-Coldwave-tracks" contest, STG’s "Televandalism" and INSIGHT 23’s "Backwash" would be for sure included. It is still a pity that both acts have brought out only one album each, STG’s "No Longer Human" and INSIGHT 23’s "Obsess" (on Fifth Column Records, produced by Chad Bishop...) are influential works for the genre. Two more band members with Fin (keyboards) and Michael Hamic (bass) will soon join the stable and a West Coast tour will start these days together with THE LAST DANCE – a lot of activities for this Californian act. So this album is the work of long-time and experienced Industrial musicians and the musically direction is pretty clear. Like expected, so it starts with "Welcome To BabyLAon": some synth basses and textures to open the track, until the grinding guitars providing the speed – a bit in that Cyberpunk-like style until Blayne’s decent male timbre cools down the scenario. It’s also worth to check the lyrics which draw a socio-critical view on LA’s/Hollywood’s upper class and famous people. The following piece "Mainframe God" counts together with the already discovered track "Ghost" (released already in 2003 as a remix companion by having works of known acts like SMP, CHRIST ANALOGUE, PENAL COLONY or the UK-based INERTIA on board.) to the rather accessible and catchy works of this band, with a clear composition and a reduced guitar input – maybe that stuff which appeals the club visitors the most. "Dead2U" is a dark growling Industrial-monster which doesn’t take any prisoners, while "Hold Me Down" offers a straight synth bass line, a harsher vocal performance and should be able to convince also the electronic-minded purists. Also worth to mention is the instrumental tune "Mission Improbable" with rotating bass lines and an alternative, rather noisier drum pattern programming. IDIOT STARE can prove once again their great abilities. "After 2 deaths, 3 births, 5 weddings and 2 band reunions" (quotation out of the info sheet), and although that "Welcome To Babylon" is their first real full-length album since 1997, they prove nicely that they’ve nothing forgotten. The creation of this album seems to have been difficult for some reasons – but nevertheless it’s a coherent and mature sounding album. What kind of a top-notch work will they be able to offer, if they can leave out personal issues?
Title: When Shadows Move: 1982-1984
Format: CD
Label: Purple Cactus (@)
Rated: *****
Timothy Gassen has always been an eclectic kind of guy. After playing with Jacket Weather he changed musical style and formed Reptile House and then Marshmallow Overcoat (a psych garage punk band active since mid '80s). He's also the responsible for the garage punk bible "The knights of fuzz", a book (which is now available as DVD where along with the book scans you can find 19 videos of bands such as Fuzztones, Chesterfield Kings, Miracle Workers and also mp3s and many more) that put under the magnifying lens the movement of the second garage punk wave (after the fist garage band movement of the '60s in the '80s all around the world a lot of new bands started to play again the raw music of bands like Chocolate Watchband, Electric Prunes, The Seeds, Blues Magoos, etc, starting a scene, that since then, never faded out). Anyway, Jacket Weather where the first band where a young Tim moved his first steps into the musical world. The band released only a six tracks E.P. and a tape. On this CD Tim collected all the tracks recorded by the band, even the recordings of their never released album. Along with the previously released tracks you now have the chance to check a total of 17 Jacket Weather's tracks. The band had a particular style because of their use of two Casiotone keyboards, drums and a bass guitar. They had no electric guitars at all and thank to this particular blend, their sound, which could be described like a minimal wave influenced by English post punk (see Joy Division) where the detached vocals and raw synth lines contrast with real drums sound, was sounding like no one else. Some tracks sound a little naive (some of the unreleased tracks, like "Money music", sound more like a proto version of the Devo than post punk) but for sure you'll be amazed to find gems like the six tracks of the E.P. (the most dark ones). The six tracks of the Reptile House change radically the atmosphere proposing a psych garage punk sound which later turned into Marshmallow Overcoats. Visit the myspace page at to check some songs. P.s. Just a curiosity: on bass guitar Jacket Weather had Lee Joseph, the guy who later formed Yard Trauma and Dionysus Records.
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Title: Interfoliere EP
Format: 12"
Label: Rump Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Lately Rump Recordings is focusing its releases on music influenced by jazz, lounge and i.d.m. and this E.P. by Vektor Musik follows the same path. The six tracks of the E.P. are built like loops which are enriched by new sounds/improvisations: try to imagine a slow and soft drum line followed by a delicate piano sound which starts to duet with a clarinet while some i.d.m. rhythmical noises play on the background. The tracks have also a certain ambient touch thanks to the drones that you can find here and there which are used to "thick" the sound. Sometimes the sound seems to turn into a sort of dub jazz just to turn into something different. Check the samples at the label's website a be sure to check "Carux".
Artist: MGM
Title: The Addams Family
Format: DVD
Label: MGM
Distributor: MGM
Rated: *****
The cult 1964 classic The Addams Family is now on dvd released through MGM. They're creepy, mysterious and spooky, but fun to watch. Based on the incredible imagination of Charles Addams. Each character is entertaining and have their own persona. The handsome cigar smoking Gomez-a wealthy man who is a beloved father figure and honorable husband who loves his adorable wife and goes crazy when she speaks French. Morticia-a gothic beauty who is heart warming and cares for her husband and family. Uncle Fester-who gives and carries an electrical charge and can illuminate a light bulb by sticking it in his mouth. Wednesday-the cute little girl who loves to collect spiders and plays with her headless doll. Pugsley-the oldest child and a boy who is inventive and mechanical. Grandmama-Gomez's mother who is a witch and into potions, spells, and hexes and also dabbles in fortune telling. Lurch-a tall ghoulish manservant butler who is Frankenstein monster like and groans and best known for his saying "You rang?" He also have musical skills by playing the harpsichord and organ. Cousin Itt-Gomez's cousin, who often visits the family. He is short-statured and has long hair which covers his entire body from scaIp to floor. And Thing-a hand that does everyday tasks, including retrieving the mail, writing a letter and also gives a pat on the shoulder and appearing out of boxes and convenient containers throughout the family's mansion.

An enjoyable ghastly and fiendish 22 episodes to experience. So pay a call on THE ADDAMS FAMILY!


1. The Addams Family Goes To School

Gomez and Morticia are horrified to discover that they must send their children to school, but in accordance with the law, they must comply. However, when Wednesday reports that the classroom reading includes Grimm's Fairy tales, a novel in which many witches, ogres, and other evil beasts are slain, Morticia and Gomez are repelled.

2. Morticia and the Psychiatrist

Pugsley begins to adopt "normal" habits causing his parents much concern. They promptly attend a psychiatrist in order to replace Pugsley's ordinary endeavors with his typical ghoulish personality.

3. Fester's Punctured Romance

Fester seeks a companion via a matrimonial column in the newspaper and mistakes the wrong person as a response to his add thus causing him to completely abandon the notion of marriage.

4. Gomez, the Politician

After Gomez engages in a misguided attempt to further the career of a loosing political candidate for city council, the candidate looses his post and discontinues his political career forever.

5. The Addams Family Tree

After being mistreated by one of his children's haughty friends, Harold Pomeroy, Gomez attempts to trace his ancestry and acquires some very interesting details concerning Pomeroy's dishonest ancestors.

6. Morticia Joins the Ladies League

Morticia invites the Ladies League for tea. However, the ladies are not able to enjoy their refreshment due to the fact that it is being served by an escaped gorilla that has a tendency to enjoy housework. Meanwhile, Lurch feels displaced since an ape is more capable of performing his household duties than he is.

7. Halloween with the Addams Family

Two bank robbers attempt to rob the Addams family on Halloween; however, they soon become involved in the family's bizarre Halloween customs.

8. Green-Eyed Gomez

When one of Morticia's old friends arrives and shows undue interest in her, Gomez becomes jealous and attempts to cause the same emotion in Morticia by hiring a maid.

9. The New Neighbors Meet the Addams Family

The Addams' new neighbors honeymoon bliss soon dissipates when they make the acquaintance of Morticia and Gomez and discover that Gomez is their landlord.

10. Wednesday Leaves Home

Wednesday leaves a note claiming that she has left home forever but in actuality is hiding in Pugsley's room. However, after Morticia's misguided attempt at psychology, Wednesday decides to truly leave home.

11. The Addams Family Meet the V.I.P's

Visiting dignitaries from Russia seek to discover "typical" Americans and despite the governments warnings meet the Addams Family and amazingly believe them to be what a "typical" American family is like.

12. Morticia, the Matchmaker

Morticia and Gomez seek to find a mate for their distraught cousin, Melancholia, after her finance has supposedly joined the Foreign Legion.

13. Lurch Learns to Dance

Lurch once again refuses his invitation to the annual Butlers' Ball after admitting that he has never learned to dance. In an attempt to endow Lurch with dancing talent in preparation for the ball, almost everyone in the family attempts to teach Lurch this essential skill.

14. Art and the Addams Family

Morticia has begun painting and through Grandma's attempts is provided with an unusual teacher called Sam Picasso. Wednesday attempts to give Picasso lessons and he quickly flees the Addams' house returning to Spain and indulging in the less dangerous sport of bullfighting.

15. The Addams Family Meets a Beatnik

"Rocky", a young man who has left his home due to his father's overbearing desire to transform him into a business man, is accepted into the Addams family. Soon, the Addams family manage to bring the father and son together and to help them settle their grievances.

16. The Addams Family Meets the Undercover Man

An undercover operative finds radio transmissions emanating from the Addams house to be most suspicious and believes the Addams Family are spies. In an attempt to prove his hypothesis, he begins spying on the family to discover the means of the disturbance and soon arouses their suspicions.

17. Mother Lurch Visit's the Addams Family

Lurch's quarrelsome mother is destined to arrive and Lurch confesses that she believes him to be the master of the home, not a lowly servant. In an effort to please Lurch, Morticia and Gomez institute him as the temporary master of their domicile and play the role of his humble servants until his mother arrives and forces Lurch to fire them.

18. Uncle Fester's Illness

Uncle Fester is feeling unwell and is forced to see a normal doctor.

19. The Addams Family Splurges

The family's new computer advises them to vacation on the moon and in an attempt to attain the billions needed to ensure such a venture, they bet on horses.

20. Cousin Itt Visits the Addams Family

In an attempt to prolong Cousin Itt's visit, Morticia suggest that Itt attain a job as a curator at the local zoo. As can be expected, the zoo commissioner mistakes Itt for the perfect exhibit!

21. The Addams Family in Court

Grandma has been arrested for telling fortunes. Gomez and later Morticia attempt to defend her in court.

22. Amnesia in the Addams Family

After receiving a painful blow to his head, Gomez's personality is drastically altered and has become disgustingly "normal". Whilst trying to reverse this disturbing change of events, unbeknownst to each other, various members of the family continue to hit Gomez over the head causing his personality to change from normal to his usual abnormal self several times resulting in hilarious sequences.

Special Features:
* Commentary: On 3 episodes including "The Addams Family Goes to School"
* Featurette: "You Rang, Mr. Addams"
* Featurette: "Snap, Snap"
* Featurette: "The Addams Family Portrait"
* Theme Song Karaoke
* Still galleries featuring original drawings and photos

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