In high school, the guys wearing the R.E.M. shirts got beat up—usually by the guys wearing the Slayer sleeveless Ts. But the corpse-painted guy wearing the Christian Death blacker-than-black shirt—you stayed the f- away. Though, as in my case, after you took the time to talk to the dude you found out a)he was a pretty cool guy and b)just so happened to be into a group that ended up being the god(pun definitely NOT intended)fathers of American goth rock, an extreme, confrontational, provocative form of death-inspired music that also happened to scare the bejeesus (pun definitely intended) out of jocks, cheerleaders and your parents, but also captured the cult-like attention of the black-clad, black-eyelinered (pre-Pete Wentz) set that made up part of the ’80s gloom ‘n’ doom landscape. Did we mention this band was provocative? In its art, music and lyrics, Christian Death didn’t shy away from drug use, sexual perversity, morbidity and blasphemy—heck the group wallowed in this stuff. And you just can’t hide anything with a name like Christian Death—sort of like Suicidal Tendencies and A.C. (don’t ask us what this acronym is for!)—a name that isn’t intended to be commercial, to go mainstream or be able to sell CDs from a Walmart endcap for $7.99. Marilyn Manson, meet your Daddy.
Christian Death w/Madlife at The Castle, 287 W. La Cadena Dr., Riverside, (714) 522-8256; www.myspace.com/christiandeath. Sat, Feb. 13. 8PM. All ages.