Leave Me Midnight – My Gold Mask

This Chicago-based band was written up in Chicago Magazine and I noticed that the female lead is a “lifelong Iron Maiden fan,” so I immediately bought the album. That’s all I really need to validate a band, but My Gold Mask has something else going for them, they’re based in my neighborhood, for now at least.

The Chicago Magazine article actually refers to them as a “local goth-pop group.” So yeah, I’ve purchased some goth-pop. Uh huh. Give it up.

The vocals by Gretta Rochelle are distinctive and some have compared her to Kate Bush. I kind of agree. Kate Bush is the only stuff I own that’s remotely similar, but My Gold Mask is harder, meaner. Maybe that’s the goth part of it. There are some haunting melodies.

In fact, it starts off with a haunting tune. The first track is Never Go Home, which begins with a male/female chanting duet that may turn off anyone expecting Kate Bush pop. It changes slightly but stays true with spare drums that echo in the background and a lead guitar with no real guitar solo but still prominent.

I love Burn Like The Sun. It highlights the squeaky highs Rochelle can hit. She does a few other voice things in this song that I can’t describe, including some deeper background vocals. The woman can sing. It has an organ chord to kick things of and a funky bass line that’s very distinctive. This tune has the potential to blow you away, It’s my favorite on the album.

So I think goth-pop is an appropriate genre, it feels like it combines melodic pop with driving beats found sometimes in new metal. It’s not gothic rock, which I don’t like. In fact, this group is a neat mix between two other local bands who have received national acclaim in the last five years: instrumental new metal group Pelican and more mainstream popular, female-led Company of Thieves. My Gold Mask treads somewhere between these groups and highlights the diversity of the music scene in this town.

Unfortunately, I only go to see stadium rock acts because I’m shallow and afraid to step out of line. Well friends, that’s gonna change this year. Maybe.