Exposé Online banner

Deathwatch Beetle Repairman — Hollow Fishes
(Premier Art Records DBM777-001, 1998, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1999-11-01

Hollow Fishes Cover artDebut albums from obtuse solo acts can be difficult to ascertain on the surface. The first few listens of this disc from the Toronto based artist sound very much like an alternative to some of the more ominous darkwave acts which are sprouting up across the world. Mr. Repairman is in actuality Mathew Riley, who has many inspirations including such modern heroes as Trent Reznor (NIN), Peter Murphy, or even Jim Morrison (The Doors). The best atmospheres are created on pieces which emphasize grandiose synths using an almost Ultravox type approach as on "Season of the Dead." The real odd tone, which I've come to appreciate, is that this project also reminds me of elements of the late Kevin Gilbert's work Thud but with a more electronic shift. Acoustic pieces such as "Violet and Green" use varying instrumentation such as mandolin and acoustic guitar as well as Arabic motifs or even sitar (as on "Kings of the Rooks"). The artist is also the graphics designer and layout specialist for his own disc too. The cover inlay depicts an angel statuary with strange blotches and serene facial expression: creepy! From the opening strains of "Dream of the Hollow Fishes" to the music box intro to "The Carny of Mr. Dark," a new musical identity appears to have been realized. This album should find’s it way into the hungry hands of darkwave and Goth fans looking for that strange but accessible artist to champion.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 18, 1998 releases

Related artist(s): Deathwatch Beetle Repairman

Latest news

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Porcupine Tree - Metanoia – This hard-to-find treat was released after the live album Coma Divine but prior to the latest album Stupid Dream as a limited edition gatefold double 10" vinyl-only release. Recent interviews...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues