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Puerto Rico Flowers, "2"

cover imageFollowing up their four track debut (originally titled 4), here are two additional tracks from the former Clockcleaner vocalist's sideproject. Again, it is an exercise in unabashed goth revivalism, encapsulating the sensibilities of the genre without sounding like a tribute band or an overly derivative project. Here is simply two additional songs, following the mold set forth on the previous EP, of quality death rock with a modern influence.

Fan Death Records

2 - Puerto Rico Flowers

With Clockcleaner, John Sharkey III always kept that early goth/new wave torch burning with his vocals and guitar work, but there it was often buried under a scum rock veneer, hiding the oft gentle sensibilities with Cro-Magnon street punk violence.With his solo work as Puerto Rico Flowers, there’s no obscuring this part of their sound."Voice of Love" goes the traditional path, with big, crashing drums and dour synthetic strings leading the darkened way, with overdriven fuzzed out bass laying the foundations.Flipside "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks" is a slow, lurching bass and drum zombie, meandering through with mantra-like repetitive vocals.While repetitive, it stays more hypnotic rather than getting boring, and the synth flourishes at the end only help the sound.On both tracks, Sharkey’s melodramatic, monotone vocals are reminiscent of almost any old school goth band, but no one in particular.

For all its unashamed sepulchral vocals and smeared black eyeliner, PRF probably is the most unassuming project for such classic death rock styling, both in name and imagery.I’m sure that’s how the famously sarcastic Sharkey wants it though. Pushing aside tired metaphors of books and their covers, this is a fresh alternative to simply replaying those old Bauhaus and Sisters of Mercy albums all the time.