Haldol Negation LP

If I had to offer reasons why you should listen to HALDOL instead of a laundry list of other bands who come from DIY punk culture but play super-styled 1980s gothic rock—and I know I don’t actually have to offer those reasons—one would be their apparent dedication to perfecting their take on the archetype. A lot of contemporary acts like this retain a pretty evident hardcore background, or anarcho fandom, but Negation sounds like a straight-up “released on Red Rhino Records circa 1984″ goth opus. Aaron Muchanic brings in a KILLING JOKE-ish vibe by battering heck out of his toms on “Triangle” and “Bull’s Blood” (the intros to which sound almost identical to one another); Geoff Smith drops some cute CURE guitars into “Amuse-Bouches” among other songs and adds some big-venue reverb to plump up his vox for the likes of “The Garden.” The necessity of this type of carry-on is for the individual to decide, ultimately, but HALDOL does ’80s goth about as well as anyone you’ll find in the ’20s.