Exposé Online banner

Audra — Audra
(Projekt 101, 2000, CD)

Voltaire — Almost Human
(Projekt 98, 2000, CD)

by Dane Carlson, Published 2001-03-01

Audra Cover artAlmost Human Cover art

Audra captures the factory sound of the late 70s, of bands like Bauhaus and Joy Division. Their debut CD opens with a tasty little bit of nostalgia. “In All Our Androgyny” features an addictive bass line, simple percussion and a catchy, repetitive guitar lead. Enter the bass tones of yet another Peter Murphy imitator and you have it. Audra combines the dark pop of the gothic scene with a strong sense of the past. I find Bret Helm’s voice captivating, hauntingly familiar but with enough originality to savor. I would describe this album in the same way. Bret also plays bass and keyboards. His brother Bart (guitar, drum machine) rounds out this Arizona duo. If this CD had been trimmed to 45-50 minutes this would have been an outstanding release; as it is I find myself tiring of it at times. Strictly for fans of the above mentioned bands or all you prog-goth types.

“God thinks you’re an idiot.” So sings Voltaire. Voltaire comes off a bit heavy, but luckily he doesn’t seem to take himself as seriously as you would think. Voltaire’s voice reminds a bit of Morrissey (The Smiths). Almost Human is sung from the viewpoint of Lucifer and is strong on clever lyrics. Voltaire’s goth-pop isn’t run of the mill either, featuring a violin as a lead instrument. Admittedly I wasn’t expecting much from this one but the irreverence of “God Thinks” hooked me. Also of note are “Dead Girls” (“Have you ever loved someone who didn’t hurt you…There’s no shame, there’s no pulse!”), and the cute lyrics of “Alchemy Mondays,” in which we catch Lucifer after another night of partying. Hip gothic cleverness you might enjoy.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 21, 2000 releases

Related artist(s): Voltaire, Audra

More info
http://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/almost-human
http://audra.bandcamp.com/album/audra

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Satoko Fujii Orchestra East - Before the Dawn – Reviewing this CD for a magazine like Exposé is a bit of a challenge. On the one hand, it could be described as modern big-band jazz, and is certainly being marketed (if the term marketing can...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues