You Shriek – with Fade, Fracture, One of Us at the Middle East Cafe – Review

You Shriek

with Fade, Fracture, One of Us at the Middle East Cafe
by Angela Dauthi

As I walked into the gloom, I could smell it. Velvet and leather. Wonderful. Five Goth bands, all varieties, all local. Well, all local and four bands because Shawn Keve was stuck in Ohio or something. Ah, well. Around me, I could make out a sight unfamiliar at the Middle East: Darkness as Art. The crowd was a strange mix of participant and observer, between those who seemed to have wandered in and those who had put on their flowing robes and stroked the eyeliner abundantly. Two of the more interesting sights were an unfamiliar pale, dark androgyne with a beard (which, strangely enough, made him look more feminine) and a petite woman with enormous breasts that were presented on a shelf for all the world to take in. They seemed to be pushed up to her chin. Looked good enough to eat. Yum.

Because of the absence of the opening band, Fade took the stage first, and I was immediately sent off into a world of nostalgic bliss. I should say that the singer was a slim boy, with black hair (natch) and an absolutely gorgeous face. Let me be fair – I’m a sucker for emaciated, strung-out looking men (like Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust phase), and this boy had all the right bone structure. The fact that he sang like a young Robert Smith only increased my lust for him, and I hoped he wasn’t gay (I later found out he’s not, but he does have a girlfriend. My path is clear). The music was fluid, graceful, and extremely moving. I even let a few adventuresome young men buy me some drinks, although they soon got scared off when I whispered to them what I like to do for recreation (wouldn’t you like to know!). This gave me more time to listen to Fade, and I must admit, I should have heard about them sooner. Granted, they are fledglings, but their talent and musical grace are unmistakable. I was convinced that they were going to be the best band of the night. I was wrong.

Fracture came on next, and I’d been looking forward to seeing them play, as you might remember from my review of their CD a few issues ago. Boston Goth-Industrial is hard to come by, and these guys were good. What a letdown. I suppose I can blame it on the sound system, or the mixers who didn’t know how to deal with so much electronics. The music seemed uneven and unintentionally jarring, what with certain samples jumping out in the mix, giving a choppy, unrefined sound. I was disappointed, but I know they’re good. “Asleep at the Wheel” is still one of my favorites.

I wasn’t sure of what to expect from One of Us. My interest was piqued when I saw two bass drums mounted on a rack facing the audience. But then my attention was drawn to the lead singer, dressed nattily in a suit, and bearing a slight resemblance to Boy George. When they started playing, though, wow. Music from the dark side of the soul. Howling at the glistening orb of life, reveling in Dionysian abandon, his clothes started falling off his body, revealing a glistening chest, tight and hard. Ohh, yes. When he turned to the drums and started pounding out a rhythm of ancient times, there was no way I could keep my hips still. He turned back to the crowd, and a faceless man took up the mallets as the minor deity with the cropped blonde hair began to hang from the pipes on the ceiling, stretching his limbs, making me drool. One of Us has made a new convert.

You Shriek had the same problems as Fracture – namely, a bad mix of electronic and human noises. They rushed around, trying to do everything and not really achieving their goal. I started getting a little drunk by this point, and I had set my sights on the boy I wanted to take home that night, so I decided to make my move and leave to see what else the night had in store for me.