Revenge of Your Best Nightmare
London After Midnight Album Review
by Boris Lee
New York City. The Corner of fourteenth and Washington Street. Summer in the nineteen-nineties…
The Versailles Room inside of Club Mother. Red lighting. Velvet couches. Clove cigarettes. Patrons engaged in close conversation or haunting the bar. The alcoholic alchemist adorned by bright contacts, captivating cleavage, and perfect… fangs. DJ Delchi spinning the music of Sisters of Mercy, Dead Can Dance, The Cure, David Bowie, Godhead, Skinny Puppy, Concrete Blonde, among others (including Black Sabbath, Rob Zombie, and other metal monsters).
Twenty years ago (at the time of this writing), I first delved into my journeys in journalism. The journey began in the New York City Goth and Vampyre subculture, where I was an active and respected or regretted member. Just like anywhere else in my life, I’m a hero or a villain, it depends on the perspective or interaction. My journalistic purpose within the subculture was to engage some of these lost souls and shed their beauty in the correct moonlight. I look back on this stage of my life as the catalyst for my ambitions to write and to learn about who somebody is at heart, rather than judge them based on their outer worldly portrayal.
When Alison asked me if I wanted to review the London After Midnight album, Selected Scenes from the End of the World (9119), I said yes because I knew that band name and I just could not place them in my mind. The moment I heard “Sacrifice”, I returned to my days at Club Mother. I envisioned my ghostly cohorts cascading across the dance floor and congregating in shadowed corners. I could smell the clove cigarettes and taste the cranberry and vodka again.
London After Midnight is essentially Los Angeles based musician and songwriter Sean Brennan, with various live touring band members revolving throughout the years. Sean is a talented composer, and his work has resonated with a loyal core fan base.
Selected Scenes from the End of the World (9119), is a re-mixed and re-mastered re-release of the nineteen-ninety-one classic London After Midnight album, with bonus material which includes some unreleased demo tracks and alternate versions of songs.
The original nineteen-ninety-one release of Selected Scenes from the End of the World was a well-orchestrated Goth masterpiece of haunting, passionate music. The re-mixed re-mastered version of the album (9119) is just as good as the original because it is the same content at heart. The improvements in mixing and sound quality are a beautification that works for the material garnering a revitalized feeling.
That said, the last time London After Midnight released new material was two-thousand-seven’s, Violent Acts of Beauty. After such a long duration of time, the band should have presented fans of LAM with some new creativity to consume. Re-mixing, re-mastering and releasing classic material is fine, but if a band does this, the bonus material on the album should be something new for fans to flock to. A new song or two in congruous with the re-released material would have made for a greater LAM fan experience. New music would qualify as newly written material.
Over the years, I have had an issue with bands re-releasing classics and expecting fans to feel grateful for the improvement in sound quality. Better sound is nice, but the originals are classic for a reason. London After Midnight’s Selected Scenes from the End of the World is a great goth album. However, with the lack of new material from the band in twelve-years, this album release falls short.
I give London After Midnight’s Selected Scenes from the End of the World, 3.5 out of 5 raised horns….on the merit that the album has no true new material and relied on re-mixing/re-mastering classic material as the main selling point. When an artist does this, it makes me wonder if they were not happy with what they originally produced. I openly admit, I am guilty of that myself with my horror fiction. So when I re-released material the fans were already familiar with, the only one who really cared about the new re-released material was me. The fans already connected with my previous work and did not want to connect with a revamped version. I think the same applies to other creative mediums.
Selected Scenes from the End of the World (9119) may not be a brand new album from London After Midnight, however, the re-mixed/re-mastered material works and it makes for a great album to introduce new fans to London After Midnight.
Selected Scenes from the End of the World (9119) is available on BandCamp, iTunes, and GooglePlay, as well as on the Official LAM Website.
Follow London After Midnight via the following links: