London Plane - Picture by Alice Teeple

DARK CABARET – New York’s London Plane Land Goth-Tinged Sophomore Album ‘Bright Black’

Dark passions, personal grief and the rise of right-wing populism provide the fuel for Black Bright, the new release by goth/post-punk rockers London Plane.

The follow up to 2018’s New York Howl sees the six-piece traversing some very black territory, leavened by sardonic humour and sparkling musical arrangements.

Led by vocalist and guitarist David Mosey – a kind of amalgam of Iggy Pop, Lux Interior and The Psychedelic FursRichard Butler – this six-piece collective of Big Apple veterans certainly knows how to play.

For much of the album, Mosey’s guttural baritone underpins co-singer Jessica Cole‘s cut glass, soaring pipes – think Andrew Eldritch and Patricia Morrison in The Sisters of Mercy.

It’s a ploy that works well, adding an air of unease and tension, which contrasts with the slick musical arrangements.

The guitar-playing by Mosey and Kristofer Widholm is uniformly excellent – angular and spiky one minute, polished and funky the next.

The production too, is well thought out and pristine, though perhaps a little too smooth for these ears.

London Plane group shot - Picture by Alice Teeple
NEW YORK STORIES – London Plane Picture by Alice Teeple

Indeed there’s a sheen to many of these songs which can make them seem a bit cold and impenetrable – though that may well be the intended effect.

There are familar gothic tropes – ghosts, devils and the like – but plenty of surprises too.

The Bowie-esque Watch That Madman Go takes a pop at the rise of Trump and his ilk, while the title-track is an anti-war song with a difference.

There’s high-concept sci-fi on Homocosmos – the name of the next step in evolution, when humans reach out to unknown worlds.

While The Wish with its lovely Morricone-like spaghetti-Western chord progression, has lyrics which could have been witten by Terry Pratchett:Once there was a haunted hell/spinning on a tortoise shell’.

Best of all though is the wonderful Electric Clock. which sees the band at its most unhinged.

A full on cabaret show tune, it sounds like Peek-A-Boo by the Banshees, crossed with The New York Dolls, with a bit of Sally Bowles thrown in for good measure.

Much more of this kind of weirdness and London Plane’s next musical offering should make for a very intriguing prospect.

London Plane * Watch That Madman Go * OFFICIAL VIDEO

About the author

Full time journalist, music lover (obvs) and truly terrible guitarist. You can find Matt on twitter @matcatch

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