Plenty of choice attempts at post-post-synth-spook-ghoul-wave have filtered in and have thankfully washed back out our musical mainstream as of late, including She Wants Revenge, Heavens, Black Strobe, and now we can add Blaqk Audio to the list of industrial-electro amateurs. The overall feeling after persevering through CexCells, the new rave-glam polish being plastered on pale gothic skin by Davey Havock & Jade Puget of AFI, leaves this ultra kinetic mind of mine no choice but to render my highly rapturous body useless with guilt. These boys are raping Sisters Of Mercy with their deadly Sister Machine Gun, shooting fatal shots of eerie dance mania into the necks of wannabe-techno-vampire-punks with the draconian precision of Peter Murphy's fangs or David Gahan syringes. But as it pains me to admit, I quite like it.
CexCells is a reckless stick of dance floor dynamite although its hardly the victim of remarkable craftsmanship. Havock and Puget are California boys who found some downtime in AFI to press buttons and play keyboards and loop beats which lustfully stroke the perplexing skin of plastic sound. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, The Cult, KMFDM, even Pet Shop Boys sound like the sort of sonic influences which blew life heat into this startling balloon of acceptable air. The result is not as bananas as Von SÃ¼denfed or sensationally demonic as Justice, CexCells is gentle magic once practiced by the dark masters New Order.
Unlike when his voice appears on a Butch Vig enhanced diddy hushed and rather salty before escalating into a CORE scream for the sake of tattoo-faced CORE, Davey's effeminate whine remains constant throughout, although he does seem to imitate the pretentious and sometimes vicious moan of Marilyn Manson on "Between Breaths." "Snuff On Digital" is the shimmering residuum of years and years of morbid club days full of oonts-oonts-oonts & boom-boom-boom behavior experienced by sliced armed Erasure / Eurythmics / Duran Duran / Soft Cell-kids of the early 1980s with a 2007 upgrade. "Where Would You Like Them Left" is a chilling thievery of "People Are People" almost right down to the keys, but can you blame Havock? He's probably a retarded lunatic, what with his Vegan diet and all, I mean; those crazies are the real animals!
At a time when the word Black could be the beginning of literally thousands of bands (Black Lips, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Black Before Red, None More Black, Black Eyed Peas), I simply do not understand the choice of, oh wait, they're a GOTHIC squad whose allegiance to the absence of color is nothing shy of worship. Black is love, I guess. But what's with the "Q?" Does it mean queer? And how could you be so surface level to name your first single "Stiff Kittens?" Come on Havock! How much can one mouth long for the dead dick of Ian Curtis?
While Death From Above, The Rapture, MSTRKRFT are getting high in their attic to the ecstatic sounds of Battles, Liars, Les Savy Fav, the possibility of a novelty such as Blaqk Audio might just work, at this time. But are the tiny tatted skunkies who scream along with Havock during his sucky AFI shows going to surrender their "mosh-or-die" attitude for the laid back oonts-oonts-oonts (whistle-whistle) glow stick / glow stick - woot woot lifestyle of trashy-electra-hispter-goth-punk?
This is the equivalent of a free pill of E that Calcium Finke, the shitty face drug dealer at the local discothÃ¨que hands you when he absentmindedly bumps into your rump near the backroom washroom. "So sorry brosef," he says as he steps on your foot and when your dry mouth waters in pain, the complimentary E pill Finke throws in goes down your throat and your exciting night begins.
Here is a shot of Davey and yours true at 107.7 The End studios when AFI played at the 2006 Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival in Seattle America.