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Join My Pretty World

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Album Review

A collection of a couple of different sessions, possibly including some tracks from earlier EPs, Geko's one full release is an underrated effort well worth seeking out. Partially produced by noted L.A. music figure Earle Mankey, Join My Pretty World finds the sharply powerful duo creating rough, industrial-strength darkwave music that easily bears repeated listening. If an understandable touchstone is early Siouxsie and the Banshees — not only in Sarah Folkman's commanding vocals, but also in the heavy guitar vibes and blunt rhythms — Geko happily aren't simply aping that act. There's hints of other like-minded souls, such as the Cure and Xmal Deutschland, as well. Carrie McNinch's guitar playing really does the trick, pushing the dark, compressed psychedelia of such acts into her own brutally attractive style. A standout track is "Nameless," where she goes off and then some at the climactic conclusion of the driving, enveloping song, matched by Folkman's increasingly intense singing. Folkman herself has an attractive, throaty voice that is just as effective in her quieter moments. At times the effect is like what might have happened if Sandy Denny decided to go industrial, a combination that's far more entrancing than that might sound to some. "Goodnight" and the haunting "Mary Loves the War Zone," with Folkman's overdubbed backing vocals a lovely contrast to the steady pound of the electronic beat and McNinch's guitar. Folkman's bass playing deserves a mention as well, less immediately noticeable than the other instruments, but just what the songs need.

Join My Pretty World, Geko
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