CD Review

Revolver Modele – “Discotheque Crypt”

By Marcus Pan

Discotheque CryptDark and simple – the model for the four-man one-woman gothic rockers Revolver Modele is crisp and clean, harkening back to the 80s heyday of dark-clad goth bands vying for attention and fruition through the Peel Program. The simple songs are washed in a sepia toned timelessness, trying to take us back twenty years yet its official release date is not even here yet (February 21, 2006) for Stateside stores.

The thrill that was a slowly played Bauhausian ballad is alive and well in the company of Natasha Hassett (bass), Jesse Winsell (drums), Ehsan Alam (vocals/guitar) and Mikal Arnold (lead guitar). They don’t even bother to dress overly gaffick, secure and serene within the fact that their music is, nonetheless, as dark and brooding an aesthetic as the scene ever needed and wanted. If you’re a DJ in a goth-rock room that spins Bauhaus, JD and Uncle Andy, then you should have by now added Revolver Modele tracks to your playlist from their past two EP releases, Revolver (2003) and Revolver Modele (2004).

Their first full length, Discotheque Crypt, is ageless in its sound, defying critics like me to pan it as “already done” and instead believing that it’s been found in a time capsule buried for twenty years near the grave of Ian Curtis and only just found – not just recorded. Ah Ah Ah is as chunkily angst-ridden old school goth as when Siouxsie first shrieked. Lightly muddied guitars with a tad of shriek woven over top of a solid, simple and moving bassline and percussion, it’ll move any old school crowd wherever on the planet you take it. Delirium Tremens picks up the pace slightly, keeping the same format with grittier basswork and much faster pace.

With Icons reaching us midway through Discotheque Crypt, the guitar-bass-drum-baritone style remains, but gets even more gutsy and muddied, becoming as much a dirge as a song. I Really dig Masks with its interesting percussion rhythm and punchy bass that sounds on the one hand poppy but is beaten into a gloomy submission by Ehsan’s vocals. Body Without Organs has great basswork within by Natasha, clean and clear. We leave Discotheque Crypt with the dark lock-step ballad of In the Aisles with its deep vocals and heavy handed bass. The rhythm guitar that links up the bass and higher guitar at times is well played and gives the track a cohesive feeling.

I’ve heard a lot of goth rock in my day. Probably more than many, being a critic and all. And when I say a lot, I mean more CDs have crossed my desk in the stringent “goth rock” genre than most people have entire collections of “everything.” But I dig Revolver Modele aplenty. I’d use the term throwback if not for the fact that the word sometimes denotes a negative connotation, and I don’t mean it as such. We can’t go see Ian Curtis perform anymore, and most of the others have gone by the wayside as well. But we can go see Revolver Modele perform and remember what it must have been like seeing an original, genre-defining dark rock outfit hit the stage to create a new movement of sound and subculture.

Contact Information:
Estate Sale Records
Post: PO Box 581915, Minneapolis, MN, USA, 55458-1915
Phone: (612) 239-5106

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