The US goth-rock band The Wake, founded in 1986 in Columbus, Ohio as part of the so called “second wave” of goth in the early '90s, released the new album "Perfumes and Fripperies" on October 30th, 2020 by Blaylox Records. Almost 25 years since their last full-length album "Nine Ways" in 1996. The masters of American Gothic Rock have returned, and they have brought everything back: the bold voice, walls of dark guitars, pounding drums, huge bass lines and their unique songwriting skill.

 The album begins with the slow burning "Daisy", showing that the band have returned with their classic signature sound. Then, with "Hammer Hall" that follows, we bare witness to an epic track, with their monolithic wall of sound of guitars. While on "Marry Me" we have a great gothic rock tune with some really nice melodic guitar lines. On "Break Me Not", another favorite, the guitars get more chaotic, as on the title track "Perfumes and Fripperies" where the guitars step a bit back revealing the rhythm section.

 Hallway through we have "Rusted 20" continuing the album’s great flow of songs topped with singer’s Troy Payne bold voice. On "Everything (feat. Wolfie)" the band collaborated with David Wolfenden of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry who played second guitar. Here Troy’s voice gets more atmospheric bringing even more gloom to the mix. We have a change in sound on "Emily Closer (MH direct-drive mix)" where the phased bass comes to the foreground and is enhanced with some synths. As on "Big Empty" where the thumping drumming is backed with guitars full of reverb and distortion. The album closes with the slower tune "Figurine" that’s has a darker, painstaking mood to it.

 By listening to the whole album, you are left only with the exciting taste that The Wake have released yet another goth classic. Recorded over many months in different locations and various circumstances in the band’s native Ohio, the album comes together to speak with one voice. The album cones as a limited-edition Compact Disc in a gatefold with 4-page lyric sheet and liner notes. Includes also an additional track, "Rusted (Hz Healer Mix feat. Caroline Blind)".


Review by Nick Drivas