Wim S. : Kissin 'Black is a quartet from Switzerland that releases their debut album ‘Heart Over Head’. It is a typical release because this band has chosen to perform their music completely acoustic. The tempo varies and an atmosphere is created that ‘feels’ like a cross between country and darkwave. Nowadays we call that kind of music southern gothic.
Essential in southern gothic music is the atmosphere that is recalled. That is much more important than the structure of a song. When the atmosphere is not right, with this music it is even a risk that it may be laughable. The atmosphere is largely determined by the production of the album and the overall sound. Not the individual instrumentalists put down an ambience but the whole band needs to, as a sum of all different parts. Kissin 'Black is a bit in the middle: it is certainly not ridiculous or laughable but the magic is certainly missing. The Swiss do not have the talent or potential of recognized melancholic bands like Crooked Still, The Dead Weather or Wovenhand. This is especially because of the vocals of Giuseppe Mastrogiacomo; he can sing but he has an annoying accent. And then you try to sound like Glenn Danzig (‘Blues Unpardonable’) but you will not succeed. The whole magic collapses. Guitar Rene Meyer sounds good; he puts down the necessary melancholy parts (‘More Than Life’,’Sex Is A Drug’) but at times he lacks just that sophistication that is needed to keep all these acoustic parts interesting. I really like the acoustic cover version of WASP’s 'Wild Child' and there are tracks like 'Goth: Has No Name’ and ‘Recitation: Blindfold’ that certainly are dark and gloomy enough to convince. But that is enough for a full length to stay interesting.