The Masochist at the Masquerade Ball
Erratic Erotica = Arcade Fire + The Decemberists + The Ponys
This album is like the opening of a dimly lit film reel, starring one finetuned band that could morph into two separate perfomances, much like the theatrics in Xanadu. Playing is melodically haunting vaudeville like the Dresden Dolls, yet more emotionally frantic and energetic like Gogol Bordello. As the album photos illuminate, a femme fatale plays violin across from her madman counterpart who is pounding away on piano keys; turn the page to see a regular indie rock band�the men behind the curtain, so to say. The sound they produce together isn’t regular at all�it’s brilliant. Vocals of mad genius S. Rimington DeVilbiss are always on key, emphatic and soft or strong and angry like on the song “Now You Know.” My favorite song is the violent “Masochist,” a great mesh of piano, violin, cymbals and rock. I’m entranced by Erratic Erotica like the original Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales: morals fraught with pain and blood. I promise their live show is just as entertaining.