Flowers in Flames
With their self-titled debut, Flowers in Flames brings back an '80s post-punk sound. There's a definite Cure sound on this goth/psychedelic band's album, most prominently on "Third Wave." Cynthia Dimitroff's vocals give the song a theatrical feel. But she's better off when she sings lead. When she sings backup for David Chavez on "Shadows and Darkness," "Terrify Sin" and "Cursed With a Flame," the vocal harmonies are off. The best tracks, "Last Days" and "Golden Town," are futuristic-sounding songs that suggest an influence from David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust days. - Erika Schramm Flowers in Flame perform with Queue Up and Dead Letter Room at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, at the Matinee (2527 W. 25th St., 216.574.2843). Free.
Rare is the horrorcore band without an aesthetic or musical debt to the Misfits. October Rising is that distinct specimen. The band's self-titled disc starts off like a Type O Negative tribute but then settles into a unique new niche: haunted hair metal. In "If I Had a Heart," rumbling '50s-style rock gives way to shredding cheese-metal, with tolling church bells marking the march of doom. "It Haunts Me" is a Kix-worthy power-balled, and "Love Is Cruel" takes Tesla's unplugged approach, adding strings for a surprisingly rich sound. The genre's eerie-ookie lyrics tend to write themselves, and if songs like "Goth Girls," "Forbid Planet," and "Hot Rod Hearse" aren't totally devoid of life, they're short on ideas. The cleverest line is a song title that's a quote from the classic zombie flick Night of the Living Dead: "We're All Dead… We're All Messed Up." Suggested title for the next record: It Came From the '80s. - D.X. Ferris