As easy as it might be to dismiss Toronto’s perplexingly strong goth scene, sometimes we (as members of the mortal world) need to stop and ask who is inspiring the young vampires in platform boots and latex trench coats loitering in the night near Portland and Queen.
Guelph-based chamber goth trio Johnny Hollow get the mascara running early with a brooding piano line to open their second CD, Dirty Hands. From there, Janine White’s darkly ruminative vocals guide industrial-tinged compositions heavy on weeping cello lines and electro-acoustic tinkering. Lyrically, you expect quill-and-blood poetry-type stuff, but White and co-writer Vincent Marcone admirably avoid those overwrought dramatic clichés. They do make an awkward misstep on Boogeyman, with its “I’m gonna love you in every hole / Through and through” lines. As for their morose crack at the Spoons’ Nova Heart, talk about sapping the fun out of a tune.
Johnny Hollow tend the Savage Garden February 22.