The Dark Side of David Bowie

The Dark Side of David Bowie

A Tribute to David Bowie

Khazad Dum/Celtic Circle/SPV

So you’re a young enterprising young goth dude on the make, and you’ve just got to impress that dominatrix grtrl that you met at the Castle (thumbs up!) last week. She’s on the way over, and you just now realize that your meager CD collection (Skinny Puppy, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Rammstein ha ha, Bauhaus) surely ain’t gonna impress this nymph. Quick, over to the local record emporium and grab some appropriately mysterious and Euro darkwave comps. And what could be darker than a record with “dark” in the title? And David Bowie/Ziggy Stardust kinda looks sorta like Marilyn Manson, and he was in The Hunger, after all… So is this album worth it as anything other than background music for Vampire: The Masquerade? Hell yeah, son, it’s a laugh riot! First, you’ve got Crimson Joy doing an utterly flaccid version of “Space Oddity.” Paint dries, grass grows, nothing else. Syrian does a nifty Eastern-inspired take on “Motel,” but then Gallery Of Fear (ha!) sucks all the life out of the room by turning “Blue Jean” into THE clichéd goth song — everybody is spooky dancing and the chorus is trying so hard to break into its rightful swing before collapsing back into turgid despair. Blech. “Scary Monsters” suffers the exact same rape at the hands of Sepulcrum Mentis — all the nervous tics and energy are gone, replaced with weak sub-metal guitar and gratuitous Pete Steele-isms. Before I chronicle any more of these crimes against humanity, I have to ask ONE rhetorical question: Why are all these goth-boy bands so afraid to get fucking funky? That’s what Bowie was all about after Ziggy was dead and buried, unafraid to do that white boy soul dance all over the damn place. Case in point: Cream VIII turns the funky breakdown in “Big Brother” into hushed ambient spoken-word. BOOOOOOO. Eyeliner will not smear in the midst of falsetto, morons. And don’t think I didn’t rejoice to see that I’d finally get to hear another band’s take on “Station To Station,” only to end up sobbing into my pillow when stupid-ass Merry Thoughts dispensed with the tasty disco chorus about mistaking being in love for the side effects of cocaine (YEAH!) and instead sloooowed it down so as not to show ANY SOUL, no matter how plastic. One redeeming moment: Swans Of Avon turning “Look Back in Anger” into total Teutonic thrash. Holy Celtic Frost! Worth it just for the cheap yuks…

Celtic Circle, PO Box 7113, 47601 Geldern, Germany, http://www.celtic-circle.com/

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