GoMa – The Dark Monarc
Machine Man Records
Release Date: 26/03/2021
Running Time: 41:36
Review by Beth Jones
Electronic and Industrial is something that floats my boat in a big way. Not sure if it’s because I’m a child of the 80’s, when synth was booming, and my formative years were in the 90’s, when rave culture was everywhere, and I was stuck at home, listening to classical music, and yearning for something new, whilst trying to discover myself, or if it’s because I play keys, and loved messing around with sounds in my early days. But I find that there’s a certain special interesting and intriguing ‘something’ about electronic music. It spans across genres. It adds depth and expansiveness, and no sounds are off limits. So, whenever we get anything in to EMHQ that’s electronically inclined, I do like to give it a spin.
GoMa, a one man Electronic/Industrial Rock project from South Dakota is the latest artist in this area to fall into my review pile, with his new album release, “The Dark Monarc”. It’s heavily leaning towards the Electronic element of the genre, and feels slightly more like Euro-dance, but with a darker, more sleazy edge. GoMa bills it himself as ‘Vampire Club Music’ and I think that’s pretty much spot on. It reminds me very much of my local favourite, Lullaby frontman, and friend, Justin, when he releases work as his solo project, Skinflick. However, it’s not quite as dark and deranged! GoMa’s sound would be the music playing in the main room of the club, to keep up the pretence that it was just a normal club, until you got through into the dark and dingy back room, where all the serious depravity went on.
Composition wise, it’s obviously beaty and pacey throughout – as you would expect. This is music to keep you moving, no matter how knackered or fucked up you are. It’s all produced very well, again something that is almost a given with this genre, because it’s all in the programming, and musicians that dwell in the electronic realms are good with that kind of stuff!
According to the press release “The album’s central theme revolves around a dark tale taking place in the 1980’s. And explores the story of GoMa himself being shamed and disgraced by his own family members.” You can definitely here the 80’s inspiration, but story wise, I have to say that I’m not getting it much. I’m not great at picking out lyrics, which probably doesn’t help, but there isn’t really any variation in pace or key throughout much of the album, which I think makes it harder to pick out a mood from the music alone.
The final track, ‘Toxic&Sexy’ is probably my favourite track, as it has a bit more of a sludgy bass than the rest, and has different movements and sections throughout. But, for me, this is an album to have playing in the background while you’re concentrating on something else, rather than an album you can be drawn into and make an emotional connection with. It’s technically a very accomplished album though, so kudos for that, it just didn’t grab me quite as much as I thought it might.
04. Me Faltas Tu (Gimme The Razorblade)
08. Mia O De Nadie
09. The Ride
Juan Goma – Vocals/Programming/Keyboards/Guitars/Bass
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