CD, Sonic Mainline, 2006
If you’re looking for ‘intelligent’ and ‘serious’ music, you certainly won’t find it in the Gothsicles’ debut album “NESferatu”. This is not to say that this extremely tonge-in-cheek album doesn’t have a message because it does and it is perhaps one of the most important ones: when people start taking themselves too seriously it’s time for someone to come along and drop a well-aimed bomb of corroding satire. The mainstream has “Weird Al” Yankovic, the electro scene of the 90’s had S.P.O.C.K., power noise has Caustic and the American EBM/goth crowd have the Gothsicles.
From scene stereotypes and sheep mentality to lousy song lyrics and DJ antics, nothing is safe from the Gothsicles onslaught of tonge-in-cheek corrosive satire, dissecting the ‘scene’ and leaving the guts out on the open for everyone to see (and laugh at) through extremely catchy songs. If this isn’t enough, the Gothsicles are shameless geeks and proudly flaunt it in songs about old NES console games (hell, even the Nosferatu in the cover has a classic Nintendo controller in his glove), like “Konami Code IV” and “One Second Ghost”. If the ‘scene-specific’ songs are bound to leave the casual listener baffled, the songs themed around console games are sure to elicit some sighs of nostalgia. Not forgetting the use of Monty Python samples in “Triple Shot”, which is certain to appeal to every geek.
The main fault of “NESferatu” is perhaps that, with only nine short tracks, it is too short and that it loses some momentum before the end of the first half. Remixes galore (by Battery Cage, Caustic, Epsilon Minus and Stochastic Theory) are nice additions but don’t compensate the flaw mentioned above. Also the very short 8-bit instrumental tracks “Lunch Breakin” and “Blip to the Squarewave” are funny but seem misplaced. An interesting (and very welcome) feature are the two ‘hidden tracks’ that give a glimpse of what the Gothsicles live act is like, with enthusiasm and improv galore.
In a nutshell, “NESferatu” is a wild and funny ride of a debut album that wets the appetite for more releases by the Gothsicles. It is not without its flaws but it is still highly enjoyable, especially if one has a sense of humour, open mind and youthful spirit. Geekyness also helps.
— Miguel de Sousa