Step 1: Acknowledge You Are Part of the System
Oh, how I hate Lexa Vonn, the singer and main songwriter for Ophelia Rising. No, not for anything she’s done wrong — actually, I like this EP much better than I should, considering it’s not really my kind of music at all. No, I hate her for coming up with the perfect description of her band before I even had a chance. “Our sound is the Go-Go’s meets Marilyn Manson.” Her line; my hatred. Leave something for the critics to do, okay, grrlfriend?
Listen — this is goth girl-group pop at its finest. Four songs, and three of them hit their mark. The opener, “Lori,” is creepier than the others, a twisted tale of a dead-end friendship with a (probably-dead) problem friend: “Lori says her nose hurts/Licks the powder off my blade/She says her head hurts/Puts the needle in her vein.” The next one, “Novocain” (can we retire that title, already? Damn!), is a grind-core masterpiece, managing to be evocative and melodic while still dark as hell. Must be the Geza X production? Hell no — it’s an actual real-life well-written song. Weird, huh? And although “Rock Star” is pretty easy pickins (dissing stars for sleeping with willing groupies?), it still rocks, thanks to Tania Estrada’s tough guitar sound.
Of course, then they make a huge mistake by turning Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” into a pounding soundscape thing. The original was pretty tough to begin with, and this version can only suffer. My (feminist) wife, a huge Lesley Gore fan, has banned this song from our home. Lexa, remakes are for crappy songs that you can improve upon, not perfect classics.
A very promising EP indeed for these five stompin’ chicas, none of whom are over 25.
Ophelia Rising: http://www.opheliarising.net