[Dress It Up... sleeve]"Dress It Up In Monochrome (and Tell Us It Is Art)" (Single, 1998)

Darkbeat Records

This three-track single takes the Nekromantik sound up a level or two compared to their earlier Fairy Catcher album. An improved package altogether. Stronger song writing, better vocals and more polished production. Undeniably reflecting mainstream dance influences, Honeysucker is a competant start with a rave-like sensibility. Eating Myself is a more mellow effort, whilst Sneaking Up Behind Narcissus is the slowest and perhaps the most imaginatively structured Nekromantik song to date. It certainly showcases their best vocals. An interesting directional development.

To help struggling reviewers, Nekromantik thoughtfully added a perfect description of their sound to the inner sleeve: "Striptease sleaze / Back Alley Rock 'n' Roll". Yep, that's about the size of it. Thanks boys. With the intruguing developments shown in this release it was something of a shame that the band recently announced they had split after beginning work on a second album. Ah, well. More time to concentrate on all the other stuff out there I guess. R.I.P. Nekromantik. 6/10

Rob Dyer

[Fairy Catcher sleeve]"Fairy Catcher" (Album, 1997)

Darkbeat Records

A bit of a curiosity this, it's a remastered release of nine early demo tracks from this British electro goth duo. Originally recorded on four-track and then revamped by Darkbeat's Glenn Wilson (also of Faithful Dawn) into an album of nine tracks of wildly varying quality.

The musical highlights are Choke and Saturnalia which successfully highjack conventional song structures and take them into electro goth territory. The instrumental The Fairy Catcher's Waltz is a good idea if a little too OTT for its own good. The rest of the album is a mix of borderline hardcore techno, goth, 80s synth pop all infused with a punkish, if somewhat harmless and self-deprecating sense of humour. Not to be taken too seriously, and best enjoyed either in a club or live after a few beers. Perhaps as a legacy of its four-track origins, the whole thing suffers from some dreadfully mixed vocals. Post Sheep On Drugs for goths willing to put the 80s behind them. 4/10

Rob Dyer

See also:

Mechanical Cabaret