Dark Drive Clinic
In the late ’80s, 4AD Records was the standard-bearer for goth-curious indie kids, thanks to acts like Cocteau Twins, Clan of Xymox and, most of all, This Mortal Coil. Seasonally affected but still gorgeous, This Mortal Coil’s three albums were the brainchild of label head Ivo Watts-Russell and producer John Fryer. In fact, Fryer contributed to the sound of all three of those groups, along with His Name is Alive and Fields of the Nephilim. He became a sort of godfather of darkwave, producing and/or engineering Depeche Mode’s Speak and Spell, Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine, Swans’ Children of God and various albums for Stabbing Westward and HIM.
And yet, in all this time, Fryer’s never had a band of his own, really, until now. With vocalist Rebecca Coseboom, he formed Dark Drive Clinic and put out their debut album, Noise in My Head, last year. The result is like an amalgamation of Fryer’s career—sharp, catchy pop punctuated by industrial beats and riffs. Like a Shirley Manson record for the 21st century (because even Garbage’s new album isn’t a Shirley Manson record for the 21st century), Noise in My Head chugs and shimmers, with production that unsurprisingly is nothing short of impeccable.
Is a new generation of misfits ready for Fryer’s latest? With the silky punch of songs like “Silhouettes,” Dark Drive Clinic could definitely appeal to an audience beyond just the cult audience who revere This Mortal Coil and Fryer’s past work. Noise in My Head wouldn’t sound out of place on modern-rock radio—maybe because Fryer himself is responsible for so much of how modern-rock radio sounds.
DARK DRIVE CLINIC
Sunday, June 10, 9pm