Music Reviews


The Green Goddess


So whaddya think of Diabolique as the name of a comic book super-villain(ess)? I think it would be a jim dandy name for, say, a sworn enemy of Captain America. But what would she look like? I’m picturing a hybrid of Madame Hydra and Madame Masque, but that’s just me. Total menace, nihilistic streak, and maybe suicidal conviction in her terrorist campaign. What will happen when these two ideologies collide? There, that sounds quite nice. So, incidentally, does the band Diabolique. Even though the band is composed of four gloomy-looking Euro types instead of a crazed murderer, they still do the Diabolique moniker a good bit of justice.

I’m going to have to assume, for lack of any prior knowledge, that this is a young band. That makes The Green Goddess a pretty jaw-dropping release. These fellows are quite melodically and compositionally savvy, ya dig? There are hints of Ultravox, echoes of Cure circa “Love Song,” goddamn wonderful Talk Talk, latter period Depeche Mode (in their softer moods), and all sorts of wonderful 4AD/New Romantic crossbreeds and pollinations lurking in their musiks. At one point I swore up and down that it was The Cure covering Wang Chung’s reflective “Dance Hall Days.” Oof! That’s a pretty impressive pedigree, bub. They’re taking the road less traveled in extreme music spheres, where a well-placed synth wash can be every bit as lethal as a blast beat. And though friends of mine take issue with the disaffected distance and seeming flatness of the vocals, I will tell you RIGHT NOW that this only adds more stately grandeur to meticulously constructed pyramids of arch noise. And then when the female backing vocals disinterestedly join in, oh kill me softly! Gentle and unhurried in all the best ways. Highly recommended for those looking for something wonderful and mysterious.

Necropolis New York, 85 Stanton St. 4B, New York, NY 10002

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