Album name: How To Touch The Moon
Artist name: Nite Nite
Genre: Gothy Stuff
Released: 12 January 2010
Label: Crash Avenue
ZME Rating: 6/10
As a beret-wearing, beard-stroking music cricket, there are certain aspects of my job I consider to be pretty vital. First among these is blagging as much free stuff as possible: if there’s a gig I can get into for free, you can bet your sweet bippy-boo I’m gonna be outside, crying and begging at the feet of a burly security guard to be let in, because I’m important like that.
And hey, I didn’t wanna go to this stupid gig anyway: in fact, I’m gonna go get drunk on rums.
The fifth most important thing for a music cricket is being honest with the readers. (Sixth is being honest with yourself, and admitting you have no readers.) So, in the spirit of honesty, allow me to divulge the following: I’m not a “goth”. Never have been. I’ve never known a goth, nor have I stroked a goth’s hair or thighs. I don’t get goth – do you see? In fact, the closest I’ve come to being or stroking a goth was observing a crowd of the creatures assembled in a park near a tree, until a police officer told them to stop loitering or something, and they scattered like so many disaffected crows, and then I pottered away to a country music gig. True story.
Yes: anyway, I was naturally feeling a little underqualified to review an album that very proudly flaunts its gothy frills and its modern haircuts. So, overcome with an inspiring surge of enthusiasm for proper journalistic research, I thought about going to a goth club, or at least a dark old cathedral or something, until I realised it was really cold outside, and instead, I went on a goth chatroom. Unfortunately, within three minutes I had made the following joke (names have been changed to protect the gothies):
Q: What did CHATTYGothTWENTY choke to death on?
A: A Sphyx He Ate!
Despite this being the best joke in the history of forever and ever, it didn’t curry much favour with the goths, and they roundly ignored my questions about their lifestyles and lipsticks and fashion and music, leaving me as much in the dark (Ah! Ah! Ah!) about goth-dom as I was before.
So – Nite Nite. A glower-power trio, comprised of Sarah-Brooks Levine, Davis Chatfield and Matthew Gibson Brown, with the express goal of making goth music fun again. Their mission statement mentions something about “embracing the macabre in saucy ways”, which sounds a bit like a silly way of describing a naughty cuddle with someone in fright make-up in the bathrooms. I think this is what they were aiming for, but maybe they just like to dress up as vampires, and use ketchup as fake blood. Who knows?
Either way, their album How To Touch The Moon certainly isn’t all that macabre, or even dark or moody: instead, it’s mostly upbeat synth-pop, sometimes resembling a hybrid of The Cure’s bright-but-sordid pop and Morrissey’s lyrical phrasings, other times sounding like The Dresden Dolls if Amanda Palmer lived in seedy nightclubs instead of abandoned Vaudeville theatres.
That’s the upside. The downside is that they’re never quite as catchy or intelligent as the Cure; never as incisively witty as Morrissey; never as artful or visceral as the Dresden Dolls. Admittedly, they’re lofty standards to aim for, but! Much in the same way as a dead tramp dressed up to look like Pikachu is still just a limp, rotting corpse, a noble failure is still a failure. It isn’t a bad album, and some of its appeal may be flying right over my head, because as we established earlier, I’m sure I’m far from the target audience. But it’s also not a great album, and so it won’t attract Nite Nite a larger audience.
UNUSED JOKE: I had a vague notion of saying the album was as stylishly gothic as Brandon Lee in The Crow, but ultimately as lifeless as Brandon Lee at the end of that movie. But that wasn’t fair to Nite Nite, or Brandon Lee, or all that funny, come to think of it.
The Tracks, Listed:
1 – Touch The Moon
2 – Black Noise
3 – Bury Me
4 – In A Dream
5 – Hello, I’m Melancholy
6 – Amongst The Tenants
7 – Body of Water
8 – Clear As A Bell
9 – What They Do Not Know
10 – These Days
11 – I’m Always Right
12 – Lost To Say The Least