Calling The Fiends
~reviewed by Goat
It has taken me nearly a month to complete this review. And thatís not like me. No not at all. I keep listening to the CD and forgetting that Iím supposed to be writing something about it. I keep getting lost in memories of the 1980s and long rides to work on a bus, wearing headphones playing worlds of music that were so new to me then. Somehow this CD draws on all of that music. This band is not then. This music is not then. But itís full of all thenís good things. Everything I ever loved about gothic music fills the room when this CD is on. I never want to listen to anything else when itís on. I want to stay lost in it. Forever. ďPlease, Please, PleaseĒ would be the first song on my mix tape. If I still made them.
I close my eyes and remember the clanging screeching pitching harrowing coughing hacking air-brake diesel soundsmell of that bus to work. Of my sad grey suit and responsible pumps. Of my hair pulled tight in a French roll and Christian Death in the headphones. I remember the ocean far below us along Pacific Coast Highway, and how, back then, I believed that the world was heading to better things. As the miles rolled by I listened to tapes of Echo & the Bunnymen, the Violent Femmes, The Cure, Alien Sex Fiend and Kraftwerk, and wondered how my life would go. This CD reminds me. Of too much. The music is so beautiful and right, itís painful in light of how things have actually gone.
Phantom Vision have created a quintessential goth album. They have somehow pulled up all the wonders of the gothic 80s and the shimmering flight of the darkwave 90s. It works; itís a CD for rainy days, starry nights, cloudy drinks, and deep friends. A CD for loneliness and for old folks who remember life before MTV when we raced home to tear open the plastic wrapping of vinyl LPs that were not trendy, to play the records over and over until we burst.
Calling The Fiends reminds me of the first time I ever saw the old sepia-toned version of Nosferatu. And my silent, entranced awe over Dr. Caligari. It reminds me of the first time I tasted real absinthe. And the time I stood on the wrought-iron gate of the botanical gardens and told my friends to watch be-cause I was going to fly. This music is divine. Itís like watching a shoebox full of pictures. My first Bauhaus t-shirt. My beloved Gary Numan 8-Track. (No, seriously. And it still works!) Learning to make ^^v^^ with a computer. Standing in the corner of a club with tears streaming down my face; beautiful people all dressed in black, lace, vinyl, leather, sorrow. ďThese are my people.Ē
Iíll remove my dentures and shuffle off now. Please buy this CD. Even if you donít own any Human Drama albums yet. And for the love of sound, why donít you?
On COP International:
Phantom Vision website: