THE VANISHING, PRO/CON and DJ MIKEY APPLES at Rancho Relaxo (300 College), Wednesday (July 14), $6. 416-920-0366. Rating: NNNNN
The Vanishing's 2003 release, Songs For Psychotic Children, is a collection of ooky-spooky goth dance new wave tracks with titles like Princess Poison, Obituary and Terror, I've Been Dying To Meet You. How ridiculously macabre! Why would anybody want to meet terror? I'd so much rather meet mirth and snuggliness. Oh, wait, maybe it's a pun. Whatever. The record is devoid of guitars and replete with synths, bass, obnoxious screaming and all the dark late-80s verbs and nouns that mix and match into infinite combinations for goth lyrics: tears, fire, burning, flesh, skin, hell, screaming, children, rotting, corpses, killing, etc.
"That recording totally sucked," says singer (and screamer) Jessie Eva on a cell from some 4th of July celebration in Miami. I can hear fireworks in the background.
"I hate that recording."
That makes two of us. What a relief. At least she's not delusional about it.
"We recorded it while we were sick with mono and going through a breakup - a girl in our band was leaving - so it was just bad timing. We weren't ready to record an album, but we had a commitment to do it so we did."
Eva says she's highly influenced by the Selector, and the new keyboard player is heavy into death metal, dub and reggae. None of these things is present on what sounds like the heavily Sisters of Mercy-, Bauhaus-, Siouxie and the Banshees-inspired release.
"Yeah, but you haven't seen us live, and we sound completely different now."
Eva has given up the bass and replaced it with sax, which she started playing with a marching band in 7th grade.
"I take an anti-music approach to (the sax) at this point. I like to be noisy and screechy and run it through a lot of delay."
She describes the Vanishing's sound as future psychedelic.
"Yes, we're definitely pretty dark, and I can see the correlation with the Sisters of Mercy, but we tend to get pigeonholed in the goth thing, and there's more to it than that."
A new release showcasing said new future psychedelic sound drops in the fall, at which time the band will also be moving to Germany, which seems somehow très apropos.
"I'm fascinated by the culture and history of Germany. We just want to get out of the United States and go somewhere different. I was already planning on moving there, and the band decided to move, too.
"We've been living in San Francisco for the last seven years, and right now we don't even have a home. It's just really hard to survive there. I'd love to move to New York, but I can't afford it, so I'm moving somewhere cheaper and more conducive to having the lifestyle I want, which involves working on music and being an artist and not having to work at some job 40 hours a week."
Right, well, then. Good luck with that.