Glampire - The Soft White Ghetto
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
By Tony BonyataAs bone chilling autumn winds and darkness help usher in the horrors of Halloween, there is an artist who proves that ghosts, witches and vampires aren't the only creatures who own a time-share plot on this holiday. With a look somewhere between Marilyn Manson and Jane's Addition's Perry Farrell, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Glampire is waiting patiently in the shadows, ready to strike his victims on October 31st, with the release of his fourth full-length album entitled The Soft White Ghetto.
On it, New York resident Glampire successfully stirs in elements of glam and goth rock, along with the frenetic beats of jungle and ambient soundscapes into a refreshing pop potion.
Produced, written and performed entirely by Glampire, The Soft White Ghetto opens with a hypnotic beat and hallucinogenic Robert Fripp-inspired guitar-line on "Welcome," (Glampire having studied in one of Fripp's guitar craft workshops) before ripping into the drum-n-bass somnambulist ode, "Night Time." He carries his jungle beats through to "Burning Bridges," that hints at the vocal and guitar stylings of The Cure, who were the first band to successfully package goth-rock with pop sensibilities. The addition of drum-n-bass to his self-proclaimed 'glambient' music gives the album an up-to-date edge to it. "Brian Eno said a great quote in Wired magazine," Glampire stated, "when they asked him what computers need to have in the future. He said 'more Africa in them.' And I couldn't agree more. If you look at the rise of drum-n-bass and all this computer generated music utilizing syncopated Africa rhythms, they listened to Brian Eno. Someone was paying attention."
Despite the overt pop elements of The Soft White Ghetto , Glampire's penchant for releasing his albums on Halloween, is more in line with the Gothic imagery (long, braided dreadlocks, lipstick, pasty white complexion and tight fitting black attire) he's created for his persona . "Halloween is the best holiday, " he glowingly admitted. "Nobody gets prejudice against you on Halloween. It's for everyone of all ages, creeds and colors, you know, just do your thing - just let it out. That's why I release all of my records on Halloween, because everyday for me is Halloween - it's my mindset."
With apparent influences such as Bowie, Eno, Jane's Addiction, Depeche Mode along with Fripp and The Cure's Robert Smith, Glampire's predominately poppy sound really isn't anything earth-shattering or new. But his infusion of all of these different styles, as well as his ability to write catchy songs with hooks that you could hang a side of beef on, makes for an interesting collection, that works as well during the Halloween season as it does any time of year.
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