Records: P.H.O.B.O.S. (2021), The Birthday Massacre (2022).

P.H.O.B.O.S.: Bleaker Beater (Megaton Mass Products) — An unpleasant bloody racket. The tags include “black metal”, but the sounds are more along the lines of high-powered electrical industrial machinery that is not pleased with you. There’s probably some guitars for texture, but I couldn’t be sure. Unintelligible background yelling in the cadence of lyrics. I enjoyed this easy listening record, and it’s worth a spin.


THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE: Fascination (Metropolis) — The Birthday Massacre are the sort of goth band who want to be ’80s hair rock with a synthesized bassline — a noble ambition, I’m sure you’d concur. Most tracks aspire to being air-punching power ballads, some are soundscape background rock without clear tunes or hooks. “One More Time” is the sort of ’80s college rock that would get a band signed to a small major and score a sure-fire No. 60 album that would never earn out in a hundred years. “Dreams Of You” is American ’80s nostalgia movie music, the synthesized bass and drum machine soundtrack to the aesthetic of tanned big-haired teens in fluorescent accessories with the brightness turned up that the goth rock of the time was mortally opposed to, but I can see how easy that sort of thing is to slip into. “Precious Heart” is Curve-lite, which is still a pretty good sound. Rose liked this album a lot.

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