Review: My Gold Mask - Leave Me Midnight [Album]

Review: My Gold Mask - Leave Me Midnight [Album]

Goldy Tapes Records // "They tick all the right boxes if you want a tightly woven piece of gothic-indie"

Review   1921 Views
Last Edited by: Jack Stovin February 25th, 2013.

Chicago musical duo Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo, otherwise known as My Gold Mask, bring their gothic pop sound to life with their new album Leave Me Midnight. At times it's a slice of contemporary funky indie, but more often than not, My Gold Mask manage to imprint their own brooding darkness on each track.

The Chicago duo have a distinct taste for the cinematic, instilling songs with an industrial inspired symphony comprised mainly of just guitar and drums. When I heard that My Gold Mask had featured heavily on the insanely vacuous dull-fest that is Gossip Girl, I had to admit I jumped to some conclusions about the band. In fairness, it's nothing like the twee electro-indie you might expect, and even though there are moments of indie-pop inspired pretension, this is actually a much darker record. They have more in common with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs than Marina and the Diamonds, and they're all the better for it.

WATCH // My Gold Mask - 'In Our Babylon'

Perhaps it's the acerbic snarl with which lead singer Rochelle delivers each line that's led to My Gold Mask being so frequently described as post-punk, but you can't help but notice it. A likeness to Siouxsie and The Banshees is undeniable, but that's just one aspect of their sound, they have in truth forged an impressively original path through modern music. The focus on the cinematic lets the album build in tension as it progresses. Opening track Never Go Home brings to mind old westerns, the dramatic pounding drums and minimal instrumentation leaves you with a sense that something is impending, be it good or bad.

But then there's the upbeat, erratic pop sounds seeping through, giving each song a softer edge and allowing your mind to take in the simple but intriguing riffs working behind the melody. At times like this, My Gold Mask recall Blondie at her most erratic, accessible to new fans but uncompromising in it's willingness to take a dark turn if the music requires it.

In 2010 the band released two EPs: A Thousand Voices and A Million Miles (From Where We Were Last), leading to their being labeled 'goth-garage'. In a way the duo have moved away from this epithet, retaining the foreboding atmosphere whilst adding lighter backing and stronger melodies. 'In Our Babylon' will inevitably be seeping from the speakers of electro-indie nights across the country soon, simultaneously as catchy as an STI and ominous as North Korean nuclear test.

LISTEN // My Gold Mask - 'Further It Gets'

Seasoned producer and engineer Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Pelican) was brought in to mix the album, and his ability to create a wall of sound that still maintains individually identifiable musical aspects gives Leave Me Midnight a richer, more textured sound. Songs like 'Without' need that to move away from the whole xx minimalist approach and into the eighties-tinged gothic pop sound that makes My Gold Mask such an intriguing listen.

It might not be everyone's idea of a good listen, but My Gold Mask tick all the right boxes if you want a tightly woven piece of gothic-indie rife with some bleakly obtuse imagery. The real mystery about My Gold Mask is that they aren't better known, and that Leave Me Midnight wasn't a much more anticipated release. Thankfully, the smart and cynically bleak overtures are accompanied by enough captivating sounds and artistry to ensure a dedicated fan-base come next release. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Leave Me Midnight is out now on self-release.

To find out more visit their Facebook here.

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