“I hate everything that is not myself!”
When Curse Mackey snarled his way through the above lyric as the frontman of incendiary Texas-based sonic miscreants Evil Mothers, he added his voice to the then-burgeoning American Industrial music scene. Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson may have grabbed bigger headlines at the time, but Evil Mothers (especially on its classic, Lee Popa-produced 1992 album, Crossdresser) did the glitz-meets-grime shtick way better. Mackey’s done a helluva lot since those days, including a long-running stint as a raft-riding vocalist for the infamous Pigface and spells with Grim Faeries and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Interestingly, he’s also pursued a decidedly less abrasive path as a solo act in recent years.
Released last fall, Mackey’s exceptional Immoral Emporium finds him exploring softer—but by no means less intense—sounds that represent an artist as interested in melody as he is in mayhem. Shades of The Reptile House-era Sisters of Mercy, the heavier side of Depeche Mode and the calmer side of Ohgr run throughout the 10-song collection, adding up to a listening experience that prompts more visions of John Hughes films than it does of, say, Dee Snider’s Strangeland flick. This is classic Goth-tinged Dark Pop that puts Curse’s songwriting talents in a well-earned spotlight—and demonstrates that he’s as strong on his own as he is alongside 20 or so other maniacs on a typical tour with a certain Chicago band that pulls him into its maelstrom every few years.
Simply put, Immoral Emporium is easily one of the finest albums released by a Pigface contributor in decades. Highly recommended.
Curse Mackey performs this Saturday at the Dark Force Fest in Parsippany, NJ. Tickets are still available.