Invisible Guy recommends: 80s Gothic Rock – 1985 (Part IV)

I think it’s time to give you another treat, this time I’ll be recommending my favorite Gothic rock bands from the 80s. I begin with 1980-1981 (Part I) and then gradually move my way up throughout the years: 1982 (Part II), 1983-1984 (Part III), 1985 (Part IV), 1986-1987 (Part V) and 1988-1989 (Part VI). I’ll be continuing the fad of six different episodes and I’ll bid you my welcome into the world I knew and the world I’ve discovered and continually re-discover when I’m surfing the web. I want to give people another opportunity and to find out about bands and artists that they haven’t heard of before. Sometimes I occasionally sneak in a bigger band or two, but that’ll just be if the song is good enough. But by no means is this a top 30 of the best Gothic rock from the 80s, I’ll have to give you a top-10 list in the future of the Gothic bands that I think top my own list. I’ll also have some commentary beneath each clip as I had in the earlier parts that covered post-punk, mostly because it looks more aesthetically pleasuring and say something about the song or the lyrics. Let me take you into this world now.

You’re now entering Part IV of the recommendation.

If you wish to continue, click on the Continue reading button.

14. Gara – some of the more quirkier and weirder goth that I’ve stumbled upon. Coming all the way from Japan, enthralling you with their fine atmospheres that are ridden with madness. It was actually the first album some of the members released. The band consisted of Yukino whom also was in Auto-Mod in a later instance, Akihito Sunagawa on drums, “Kazz” on guitar and Hayato Yamaguchi on vocals. They actually produced this album themselves, which is more of a live-album then anything else. As it says: “Recorded at Explosion ’85-3-23“. The engineer for this record was Hideki Fujisawa, who also worked with different new-wave/goth-rock and thrash metal albums during the period of the 80’s. Well, the album I’m talking about is titled Manifest, released in 1985 on the labels Explosion Plant/Vital Plant Ltd., which is their only release under the moniker of Gara. Since there’s not much more to say about this band, since I don’t know anything more than what have been said, I’m going straight to the process of picking a song off this album. I picked the song The Lady In Gray, which is on the B2-track of the album. Even though the intro is twirly and whirling around in a total maelstrom, I think it’s pretty stereotypical of the eccentric nature of Japanese music when it comes to “odd” genres, which is only a good thing. There’s something really menacing about the baseline, as it without due, comes storming right into your room. Creating a chaotic environment which you could only mosh to in the best of world. The drums are excellent and the general nature of the sound is what’s up. It’s one of those odd releases you should get a hold of if you have the possibility, but you can also check it out in this post if you feel like you want to. By the way, Vital Plant Ltd. also re-released their material from Manifest on a CD, by the name of Gara, together with an extra song titled Karyatide 〜 Bann.

13. Mighty Sphincter – legendary goth meets death-rock band from Phoenix, AZ. I must admit, I had never heard of them. There might’ve been a time where I’ve stumbled upon them, but I need to give them more justice than that. So I decided to include them, this time around. Since they returned in 2010 and are active since then, there’s something to look forward to. Anyhow, the original setting for this particular album was Joe Albanese (The Brainz/Circus Contraption/Dutchboy Fingers) on bass and cello, Greg Hynes (Teds) on drums and timpani, Doug Clark (The Brainz/Victory Acres) on guitar, vocals, synthesizer and last but not least; Ron Reckless (ex-Maybe Mental) on vocals (track A1-A7). The wonderful cover art of this release was made by the guitarist/singer Dan Clark (Stormkern/The Dark Clan/Siv). Allen Moore was the producer of the tracks on the A-Side of the record and he’s worked with other punk, new-wave and gothic rock bands in the past. Sandy Lamont was the producer for the remaining tracks, on the B-Side. She’s also worked with other acts, similar to Moore, but she was also the engineer of the Blatant Localism EP by the legendary hardcore punk band J.F.A. The record was recorded and mixed in Cereus Recording. Well, that’s a background check for you, now let’s get to the real deal. The album I’ve chosen is the first one they ever released, namely the record titled Ghost Walking Double EP, released in 1985 by Placebo Records. So let’s cut to the chase immediately, since I want this ball to be rolling. I picked the song Resurrection from this particular album, it’s actually misspelled as “Resurection“, but who cares. I love their whole ordeal with mixing goth rock with death-rock, because at times it almost sounds like something that could’ve been in the metal department. Even though I’m not really fond of the vocals, I believe that the volatile nature of this song alone makes for a great listening experience. There’s a mixture of a dark and dampened atmosphere, which makes the song stay afloat a little bit better. At times it even sounds a little bit artsy fartsy to be honest, but it’s of the good kind. You should get this record if possible, but if you can’t, you can check it out here in this recommendation.

12. Part 1mysterious goth rock meets punk and post-punk from Milton Keynes, UK. They were active in the beginning and middle of the 80’s. Their first release was an album titled In The Shadow Of The Cross which was released in 1982, on Semen Tapes, which would be that labels only release ever. In the same year, they released an EP which went by the name of Funeral Parade. It was released on a totally different label, which went by the name of Paraworm Records. Now, before we got to the release I’ve plucked out from their discography, some background information would be necessary to share. This band consisted of Chris Pascoe whom played bass guitar, Bob Leith (Cardiacs) on drums, Mark Farrelly on electric guitar and Chris Baker on vocals. Now, I shall reveal to you which album I’ve chosen, but I bet you’ve already figured it out by now. I chose their second album and last release ever, which is titled Pictures Of Pain, since it was released in 1985 on the San Fransisco, CA-based punk/hardcore label (now defunct) Pusmort. It was by that time they started to integrate more of their post-punk sound, instead of their earlier progenitor of punk, into the mix. As there’s not much to say from what I’ve garnered more than what is written, it is best to just get to the point straight away instead. I picked the song with the same title off the record, which is the song Pictures Of Pain. There’s something wicked about it, not only Chris Bakers british vocals that soar through the landscape as if they were UK Decay, but the total misanthropy formulated through reverberated baselines and static riffing. Hopefully, if you’re lucky, you’ve already gotten hold of this record. If not, you should search for it, because it surely will be a keeper. There’s some really classic goth rock, post-punk and punk on that record alone to feed your inner self. 

11. Rebel Christeninggritty and on-the-point goth rock with mysterious intentions. There’s unfortunately not much to say about the members of this band, since I do not know who they were. If anyone knows more about this band and their members, feel free to contact me and I shall add the information afterwards. However, they’re from the UK at least and the producers of their record were Keith Andrews and Mike Stone. Both of them have been the producers on many records, within different genres. From punk to folk rock and everything in between. Also, Keith was the engineer on the Grave New World, an album released by the legendary hardcore punk act Discharge. Well, let’s get to the point at once shall we, the record I’ve chosen is the only one they’ve released – it goes by the name of Tribal Eye. It was released on Clay Records in 1985, a label which Mike Stone was affiliated with and even ran. Which was also the first label to sign Discharge, for that matter. But now, it’s time to pick a track. I picked the track which went by the same name as the album, namely Tribal Eye. Mostly because it is so well-produced but still gritty and it offers a punishing blow to the abdomen with the drums and the whole atmosphere of it. It surely was ingenious and it still packs a punch even though it was recorded more than 20 years ago. The longevity of this song is surprising and the singer reminds me of someone, but I can’t really come up with who it might be. It sounds familiar, though. If you get hold of this record, you should consider yourself very lucky. At least I think you should be.

10. Jad Wiogreat combination of the darker elements of gothic rock, with the more new-wave oriented sound. This band might not be that well-known, but they’ve actually released a lot of stuff. The band itself is from France and consisted of Christophe Kbye, Christophe Schwob and Denis Bortek. At times, they also had Gangster and Oliver De La Celle in the band, but not in the particular album I’ve chosen. Their discography is freaking huge, because since 1984 at least, they’ve released numerous albums. Among these albums the more notable would be Live A Dolce Vita, released in 1986 on Helvete Underground Records and Contact, released in 1989 on Garage Records together with Just In Distribution. The aforementioned album was more new-wave then it was goth, but it’s still a great album. The album I chose is titled Colours In My Dreams and was their first album release ever, as it was released in 1985 on the legendary (to me) French label L’Invitation Au Suicide. A label which also featured acts like Red Wedding, Play Dead, Christian Death and Carcrash International. So, the track I picked from this album was the title-track of the album which goes by the same name of it, namely Colours In My Dreams. It’s certainly one of the better genres I’ve heard in this category and I think they’ve used a drum machine for this release, but it makes things much better in one way or another. I get a flashback to The Sisterhood and their perfected usage of it, even though many people dislike that outfit and their release. However, I think Jad Wio managed to turn it up a notch in this release, because it is well-structured and carries out both the lighter and more easy-going elements on par with the darkness that shrouds it. An album that you should get if you have the possibility, because you will not regret it.

BONUS Nr. 1: Igor’s Night Offas said by someone: maybe a lighter and more humorist version of The Damned. Pretty interesting group, sadly enough they only released one record. This two-man collaboration between the musician and engineer of the record John Fryer and the wonderful lady Suzi-Reddington Gardner, have garnered a very interesting blend of both psychedelia, goth rock and a heavy dose of glammy pop. At least I think it is John Fryer who is the man being portrayed on the sleeve of the record, which makes me assume that he was the one involved, more than as an engineer. He’s also the lucky man who got to produce Fad Gadget(s) (R.I.P.) first single Incontinent which was released in 1982. Since then, he’s both been an engineer on various records and a producer. Another notable band that he’s worked with is Depeche Mode, which seals the deal. However, it’s time to get to the point and tell you what record that I’m talking about this time around. I’m talking about their first and only release which is titled We’re Having A Party!, it surfaced in 1985 on the label Make A Way Records. I picked the title-song, of course, which you all should’ve known by now that I have a tendency to do so. It was the track with the same name as the aforementioned album, namely We’re Having A Party, that I picked this time. What can I say, it’s both a horrid example of horror punk meets goth gone terribly wrong (a second), turning into a massive hit that you just should’ve played on your last DJ-gig. There are many things I don’t know about this act, but I sure know that they can throw a party. This is also one of those records that I would love to get my hands on, but sadly, I don’t have it.

Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two, but also enjoyed these tips! This is the end of Part IV.

I’ll be publishing Part V on whenever I have time.

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