Picture of Lucyfire

This Dollar Saved My Life At Whitehorse

Lucyfire - This Dollar Saved My Life At Whitehorse ©2001 SPV
1. Baby Come On
2. Thousand Million Dollars In The Fire
3. Mistress Of The Night
4. Over & Out
5. As Pure As S.I.N.
6. Automatic
7. Perfect Crime
8. U Can Have All My Love 2nite
9. Sharp Dressed Man
10. Annabel Lee
11. The Pain Song

Lucyfire is the new goth-rock side project for Tiamat's Johan Edlund. This project should come as no surprise to anyone who saw his photos from 1999's Skeleton Skeletron, featuring Edlund in very gothy attire and makeup. Ironically, he appears as more of a cowboy/desert rat figure in the promotional photos for Lucyfire, so it's really hard to say where the man is coming from these days, at least in his fashion statements.

Meanwhile, Lucyfire's music, featuring Edlund and three handpicked musicians, takes the gothic edge that was wallpapered all over Tiamat's last release and explores it much more thoroughly. This Dollar Saved My Life at Whitehorse is indeed a goth rock album recorded in the spirit of 80s goth with Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus influences being pushed towards the front. The music is certainly more despair and downcast in the true spirit of goth rock but unfortunately the result is a very bland and monotonous record. I had much higher hopes for this since I enjoyed the goth aspects of Skeleton Skeletron to a reasonable degree. For the most part This Dollar... drags on and on, never really kicking up much dust along the way. Edlund's unique, truly identifiable voice is the main focus and his unusual accent and phrasings are at least a bit interesting. However, it's the songwriting and overall blah mood of the record that ultimately brings it down. None of the songs really have the ability to encourage multiple listens to see what the record can bring out in successive listens. And like Skeleton Skeletron, Lucyfire picks out a strange song choice for a cover in ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" (which ends up sounding much like everything else on the album). For the most part, This Dollar... sounds like a man trying to get out of system a sound that the rest of his main band may not have been entirely comfortable in wholly embracing. Aside from a couple groovy numbers ("Perfect Crime" is definitely catchy), the album never revs things up nor creates a compelling atmosphere or mood.

While this is not a terrible record, it is far too average and tepid to really warrant rave reviews. I've never had a problem with Edlund's increasing goth influence in his songwriting, but hopefully this will get the blandness out of his system for the next Tiamat record.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 08/2001

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