Growing Up Goth…Growing Old Goth
by Xerxes Praetorius Horde
I recently read an article about how people who are allied with fringe social circles outgrow their “scene” as they age – punks get proper haircuts and jobs, metalheads go back to school to learn a trade, hardcore kids get married and have kids of their own. The common thread between them all is that in order to function in the “adult” world, they give up the appearance and lifestyle that once defined them as teenagers and young adults. The interesting exception is that the same article claims that many Goths tend NOT to give up their look and lifestyle as they age, but rather adapt it to an acceptable level becoming of their adult responsibilities.
This begs the question – why?
Why would members of one of such a jibed and joked about scene never really outgrow it? Why, after all these years, do I run into couples approaching “mid-life crisis” years with kids of their own that still get moderately dressed up in goth duds for a night out while an aunt or friend babysits? Perhaps the original attraction to the scene is what makes it a lifelong component for some people. Maybe, the same element that draws all these miscnthropic loners together is the very thing that makes them impervious to ridicule.
But it’s all about death and doom and gloom – right?
Seeing this neat review of our latest album got me thinking about just that. The critic who wrote this has incredible insight – to infer so many things about the artistic intent of a group by merely listening to the album is quite impressive. The review is made even more legit by the fact that it appears this fellow didn’t originally even want to listen to the album. Check out this excerpt:
Rock N Reel 21/11/2014 reviewed by Baz
The New Jacobin Club – Soldiers of the Mark
A glorious fusion of 80’s Goth and Horror Punk: 4/5
Soldiers Of The Mark, the new release from gothic horror punks The New Jacobin Club, is one of those rare albums that kind of crept in under my radar and gradually grew into something that consumed much of my spare listening time. That should, in part, go some way to explaining my tardiness in reviewing a record that came out nearly three months ago.
As an album it kind of passed me by at first but the one song that really grabbed me was the fantastic Champagne Ivy; a song dripping with gothic orchestral overtones, punk attitude and pop melodies. In the following weeks I found myself returning to that track more and more and as a result the rest of the album slowly grew on me. Jump forward another month or so and it’s still getting played every couple of days which is no mean feat considering the volume of music I need to listen to on a daily basis.
The music itself is grand to the point that it borders on ostentatious, thanks primarily to the liberal use of orchestral instrumentation. It has that lofty, almost snobbish, feel to it that bands like The Sisters Of Mercy and The Rose of Avalanche had in the 80s. What sets Soldiers Of The Mark apart though is that they aren’t afraid to ramp up the speed a bit and power it along on classic punk riffs (even if the riffs are occasionally executed by a cello). The Horde’s vocals are classic horror punk fare, coming in somewhere between Glenn Danzig and a more tuneful Jerry Only, but he is completely eclipsed by female vocalist Poison Candi whose powerful delivery really bring tracks like Return to Eden and Angel MMXIV to life.
What I absolutely love about this record is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously; a major failing of the early Goth movement. The songs all have the faintest whiff of the ridiculous about them and this makes the whole listening experience a hugely enjoyable one. You have to admire a band that can see the humour in what they’re doing yet still stay focussed on their vision. I mean who couldn’t love a band that includes a Theremin player?
This record has single-handedly reinvigorated my love for horror punk (a genre with which I have become increasingly jaded in recent years) and gothic music in general and for that I owe The New Jacobin Club a huge vote of thanks.
Wow. And there you have it – grand, ostentatious, snobbish….ridiculous (there’s that word again – longtime readers of our blogsite will get it). We know damn well what we are doing…and we have a damn fine time doing it. We are all Lords and Ladies of our own wonderfully twisted world, and into it we invite our friends, our fans, and our audience. In it, we are all safe. In it, we can look out at the rest of the world and laugh back at them as they cower in our shadow. We spit verses of bitter hate and disgust all while enjoying how uncomfortable it makes the uninvited feel.
We are the spokespeople for the socially awkward and the tragically excluded.
And what is the attraction of death to the excluded?
Watching this cute video reminded me of why Goths never “grow up.” Is it because we were perhaps mature ahead of our time? Because we were excluded for being too well spoken, too well read, for paying too much attention to our beloved books and music and art instead of being part of the cheerleading team….even if we really wanted to be included. We weren’t.
In a very private and secret place, we all at some point in our lives have wished we could look down from above and see how much pain and regret would ensue at the event of our own death. We yearn to see people admit they loved us and regret the way they treated us. We desire to see them tearfully ask for our forgiveness, and in the climax of our dark fantasy we say no.
The kids in this video are brilliant. They are baiting their enemies with exactly that which they are made fun of for – they are ridiculing everyone who watches by conning the watcher into believeing they are serious. And for the record, observe how well they know the lyrics to that Evanescence song. It obviously resonates with them – even if they are using it to troll the world.
Well done kids – RoTT ‘n RoLL
HOrDE (who does happen to like Evanescence)
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