I remember the days when the last words that would spring to mind when you mentioned 'Goth' would be: bouncy and perky. I remember when Goths could be moody, and - godammit - be proud of being moody! Fortunately it would appear that I'm not the only one that remembers those halcyon days, as Choir Invisible stands glowering in a dark corner from the front cover to the close of the final track.
The opening title track is quietly promising, and possesses a lot of interesting (and quite complex) ideas. Unfortunately the various threads don't quite come together, and the song ultimately sounds a bit too muddled. It's not until track three, 'Sera', that the desired effect is reached - the sound being much clearer, due to the excess of guitars being swept to one side. This also allows us to hear one of Second Skin's great strengths: Arron's voice, which - while being reminiscent at times of the great Simon Huw Jones (And Also The Trees) - carries great emotion, and, from time to time, a good tune.
Other high points include 'Sweet Nothing' which offers a catchy chorus, nice backing vocals, and an urgent rhythm section. And also 'Zero Below', which is almost Wake-like in it's goth-rockiness.
The album's central piece, 'Club Sexxx', is a good summation of the album. Good ideas, lovingly crafted with fine musicianship and vocals - just spoilt by murky, indistinct mixing. Still, an original and very promising - and incredibly moody - album. (PB)