STARVOX, (January 2002):
TURN PALE - 'May Last Until Winter'/'Implicate' mp3 single
Consider this a warning: A bit of foreshadowing, or a heads up to our readers, if you will. If this two-track mini-CD is any inkling as to what is to come from this outfit, I am beyond ecstatic. I really miss old school Goth. I keep searching for more old school bands that I haven't heard, but most of the stuff I donÕt have is extremely difficult to find. And finding good new 'Goth' these days is extremely trying.
So along comes Turn Pale, a relatively normal looking bunch from Indiana, claiming influences like the Birthday Party and Joy Division. Oh yeah, and they formed the band last year! A bit skeptical at first, I was pleasantly surprised that they indeed reflect these influences to the very tee. On the 'A side' if I may be so nostalgic, we have 'May Last Until Winter,' a violently catchy jam, heralding the beloved fusion of post punk aesthetic and the psychedelic swing of the MunsterÕs TV theme. The vocals are layered, with a clean vocal similar to an angstier Ian Curtis and a slightly overdriven voice underneath. A four-track production and a few off key screams here and there only accentuate the raw edge of the music and the nostalgic early 80s feeling it evokes.
The 'B Side,' 'Implicate' is a plodding minimalist dirge, and what it lacks in the energy of 'ÉWinter' it makes up for in sheer mischief and spookiness. The bass line meanders sluggishly along, the guitarist resurrects the long dead ghosts of fuzzy distortion, artificial harmonics and bat wing scratches a la uncle Danny Ash. The vocalist seems to be in his own phantasmagoric world, wailing and thrashing confusedly about, but with the manic angst of a young Nick Cave and And Also The Trees' Simon Hue Jones, as opposed to the reserved pretty boy self-pity of far too many lead vocalists.
Turn Pale might be the saving grace of Goth. Probably only a handful of us will care, but hopefully the band has much more to offer and still have a wealth of material up their sleeves. In the meantime, I anxiously await to hear more and hope that fans of vintage Gothic rock will do their best to seek these guys out and keep an eye on them.
- Matthew Heilman