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An acquaintance of mine at one of the more popular Gothic magazines, chuckled over this one. "David Bowie is not goth in any sense of the word," he said. Having spent nearly his entire life in the scene, and recognized by others as "true goth" he felt that he was a voice of experience.
So Tony Lestat, who called David Bowie one of "Goth's true fathers", is not the final word in the debate. Still, with all the Goth bands that got together to make this tribute, the idea that David Bowie has a parental right to Goth ancestry has at least some validity.
THE MISSION U.K. lolls around with "After All" on track one, but leave it to
ALIEN SEX FIEND to really get the album started with their circus side show rendition of "All The Madmen". If anyone comes close to Bowie's robotic, Klaus Nomi period, its got to be the strange Gothic outsiders of ALIEN SEX FIEND.
GENE LOVES JEZEBEL does a pretty straight cover of "All The Young Dudes", not ruining it, but not adding much either, likewise NOSFERATU does "Starman" pretty straight as well. Neither song is done bad, they are done quite well, the only problem is that it isn't much of a tribute if you just try to ape the same way that Bowie recorded the song. Even Bowie doesn't sing them the same way anymore.
EX-VOTO does "Scary Monsters" and brings something new to the table, bringing an echo-ey house party flavor to the song. Understated and simple, EX-VOTO shines by not trying so hard.
WRECKAGE, removes Bowie's desirous cloying passion from "Heroes", instead giving us an un-needy, yet sincere voice of the love song, minus the hints of psychopath baggage from Bowie's original.
TRANCE TO THE SUN does an excellent cover of "China Girl". They capture all of Bowie's otherwordly nature while still maintaining their own unique style. One of the best of the disk.
CINEMA STRANGE gets really strange with "Time" taking it to worlds so alien that I didn't even recognize the song. If you can get into the weirdness, you'll like this one. If you can't, you should listen to some other kind of music. Maybe Adult Contemporary.
SILENT ORDER continues the idea of doing original things with Bowie's music in doing "Always Crashing In The Same Car" and so does TUBALCAIN with "Andy Warhol". They both capture the spirit of the music without just doing an uninspired mimic of the songs.
KOMMUNITY strips "Hang On To Yourself" down to the bare bones and delivers a raw version that rightly recalls David's early years.
CORPUS DELICTI falls flat on their face with "Suffragette City". Can you imagine uninspired sincerity? I mean, you want to do something really cool, but when you put it all together it just doesn't work. That's how this song sounds. "Suffragette City" requires blue hard on sexuality that CORPUS DELICTI just cannot pull off. Klunk.
CHRISTIAN DEATH do not sound like themselves at all in doing "Panic In Detroit". Instead they just try to suck up to what David Bowie already did and did better. Klunk again.
BIG ELECTRIC CAT finish off the tribute with "Putting Out The Fire" and do a good job of it. The threat of the predator is well conveyed while still creating a sound that doesn't sound like an attempted cut and paste of the original.
Altogether there is some good stuff to be had here. Where it comes to tribute albums, it is especially difficult to please all fans. Some actually like to hear the tribute bands sound as close as possible to the original studio songs and get irritated by those who would try something new.
In that sense, there is most likely something here for everybody and I give it 3 Perplex Skulls.
This review copyright 2000 E.C.McMullen Jr.