Jerret Cortese is one prolific guy. He has released thirteen albums most of which are not under the moniker The Gothtones. His latest to my knowledge is After Dark. He makes dark yet light-hearted goth music. I’m aware that my previous statement seems like a contradiction but the music feels fun in many ways. Rocky Horror Picture Show came to mind a couple of times.
The songs are relatively short averaging about two-and-a-half-minutes long. For the types of songs they are, it works. The songs don’t feel too short which I was initially concerned about before hearing them.
The album opens with the title track. It’s a lounge-y by the poolside Vegas vibe and I want to say the vocals have a tinge of Tom Waits and Roy Orbison. The track doesn’t deviate from the initial vibe but that is part of the allure. Almost like vignettes. Up next is “Venomous” and mixed in there with the goth are elements of LA Noir. Dark shadows, a seedy underbelly and detective who goes by his own rules.
“Moon Is Leaking” revolves around a basic blues riff while “The Creeps” is a minute-and-a-half instrumental piece with a Joy Division-esque feel. Other songs flirt with other styles such as “Rat” which has a jazzy swing or “My New Machine” which is experimental.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about these songs is that no matter where Cortese deviates to stylistically it still has a dark, gothic feel to it. Overall, After Dark is an album that I was able to appreciate more as a cohesive album than individual songs. Don’t get me wrong there are some good songs here but the sum feels greater than its parts in this case.
I wager this won’t be the last time we hear from this prolific artist. I have a feeling album number fourteen won’t be too far away.
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