Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Beautiful Deadly Children - The Gospel According to Goth

A Kabaret Grotesque by Bertie Weirdly
Mallard Independent Publishing

Beautiful Deadly Children appear to be a long-lived English goth outfit that never quite made a name for themselves outside of their immediate scene in Birmingham (home of Black Sabbath and Napalm Death!), and what notoriety they gained was mostly for flamboyantly unfortunate taste in costumery. I'm talking troll ears, fake claws, batwing dresses with wings, puffy shirts aplenty, and surely illegal applications of PVC and rubber. Whereas any other band would have given up in the face of such deafening indifference, Beautiful Deadly Children took quite the opposite tack. With a delusional self-belief that rivals that of Half Japanese and Andrew WK (and usually I’d approve of such world-making), BDC decided to concentrate not on honing down the music to a darkling point, but to instead pen a lengthy tome detailing their life and times. The results aren't pretty. I'd rather not do a hatchet job on this book, because the concept behind it is something I'd certainly want one of my favorite bands to do (I think the Kills were talking about doing a photography book), but this is... definitely... not... that. Here's the problem, the writing is pretty pedestrian, it feels like I'm reading an overlong Myspace profile. To make matters worse, it seems that they run out of things to write about halfway through (which is weird, because, y'know they had complete control over the book) so by the end, when they start giving (lengthy) make-up tips, the book drops out of my hand and falls to the floor. The tone is in turns overly precious and desperately clumsy. And the pictures, ehh.... you dare not look. It's just a roly-poly bunch of chancers shoehorned into a dizzying array of inappropriate, unflattering, and faintly ridiculous attire. I don’t care if you hang out at the Factory or the Castle every weekend going back a decade, you’re going to be channeling Ogre from “Revenge of the Nerds” ‘round about page 30. I think it's possible to age with dignity in the gothic scene, but these cats just ain't there baby. May I direct you to the new Horrors album instead?

- Mathew Moyer

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