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Rozz Williams | Live in Berlin | review | goth | Lollipop

Rozz Williams

Live in Berlin (Hollows Hill)
by Lex Marburger

I settle back in my easy chair (a green monster of a Jello mold, bits of fabric pulled from the cat, a precious little thing that gets away with murder due to its unending cuteness), crack open a cold, vaguely beerish-tasting can of somethin'-or-other and hit the "full random" button on the CD player, forgetting this patter was jammed inside. From out of the speakers comes "I am afraid of the dark/cuz that's where I live..." What follows is a classic spit-take of Stooginian proportions. Good Christ! People still make this kind of stuff? I mean, Rozz Williams started doing this kinda depressed pompous dark rock schtick back in high school. Apparently, the fact that he's now dead hasn't slowed him down much. But just like that silver circle in my CD player spinning out live recordings from 1994, ol' Rozz here is going 'round & 'round, never quite making any progress. I mean, what's the point of reprising your old material if said material just plain sucks? Sure, he was one of the first "Goths" (tho' he continued to deny the label. Pleeaassee: arrogant lyrics & delivery, sloppy guitar, everything in a minor key, an obsession with death & eyeliner... sounds like Goth to me. Either that or early REM), but so what? The thing I don't get is how and why he continued to generate this stuff. OK, the heroin probably helped. Yeah, I was into this stuff for a while (the music, I mean. I know, broke, emaciated, and longing for death DOES help in this kind of scene, but as the song says, it's so passé. Crystal Meth, on the other hand...) while writing bad poetry, dancing like a depressed hippie in poofy poets shirts (extra ruffles), I even went out in public in velvet tights while not in a band. And you know what? After a certain point, I got over it. Yeah, life sucks sometimes, but it sucks a lot more if you look like some fop out of a second-rate Anne Rice hack-job novel. I mean, if you keep this kinda stuff up you'll just end up killing yourself. Whoops.

But all this isn't to disparage the man's death (well, maybe a little). Ol' Rozz should be almost pitied. He was stuck in a life and a job that left him little choice but to be depressed all the time. Wasn't much of a poet, wasn't much of a songwriter, had about a five-note vocal range and an affinity for smack... I mean, what choice did he have? He could've gotten a better back-up band to start with...

Glancing at the bio, it seems our illustrious editor has scribbled "For Die-Hards only. Give it a quick review." Well, here goes. For die-hards only. A live show of Mr. Williams in all his strung-out, dark-rocked glory. If you really need to fill your collection with one more blow-hard raging against the dying of the night, go for it. Otherwise, get it for that special teenager in your life who insists on cutting him/herself just to watch the blood flow.
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