Black Tape For A Blue Girl The Scavenger Bride

Mandolin, dulcimer, flute, cello, piano, Doumbek, violin, percussion and electronics, what else could one ask for in an album from über-goth/darkwave label Projekt Records? Some suitably melodramatic vocals perhaps, which also are here in both male and female variety. Self-described as their first concept album, The Scavenger Bride has a tale to tell with each number. The songs consider the state of a bride and those she has loved, and are appropriately inspired by existentialist writer Franz Kafka. Certainly the lyrics are largely dealing with matters of the soul, the intense inner workings of the heart, mind and powerful emotions, but without knowing your way around, the existentialist's take on life the album's "concept" might seem as absurd as our existence itself. Nonetheless, this dour bunch has been around for over a decade-and-a-half and there is a definite sophistication about their music to prove it. They go beyond the gothic tendency to slip into self-indulgence mostly via their expert instrumentation. Dark and beautiful, the songs remain simple and restrained but not repetitive. High points include the Bauhaus-flavoured "The Lie Which Refuses to Die" and a clever reworking of Sonic Youth's "Shadow of a Doubt." (Projekt)