Colors Writhing in the Black Leather Night

Renew ( AW Records )
Otto's Daughter

By David Lilly

Think of all the bands you know that are named after one of the group's members, but that person's actual name is not used. At one time in the life of lovely Jacqueline van Bierk, her saxophonist dad played in a very popular party band. When Jacqueline went along to the gigs, people would refer to her as "Otto's daughter." When it came time to name the band she now fronts, an original name wasn't that hard to find.

Try this music on and you'll find rhythmic industrial stitches holding together throbbing bass gothic sleeves, colorful art rock pockets and collars, and numerous techno colors throughout the rest, particularly reflected from the singer's black leather pants.

Clothing metaphors aside, listening to this band is not unlike hearing a performance of strange cabaret music. This entire CD consists of the aforementioned styles and, above all, theatrical music. Lead singer, keyboardist, and guitarist van Bierk brings an authentic European influence to this New York City audio-visual troupe, which is felt at the entrance to this sophomore effort via march-paced music and vocals apparently recorded at one speed and played back at an effective slower speed. At about the half-minute mark, the opening "Over It" turns into an art-rocking, gothic march that any mosh pit would be proud of. That's the aural appetizer that suggests the rest of this spicy musical meal.

If you're craving throbbing eroticism, I urge you to listen patiently to the first nine songs before being gratified by the R-rated "Showgirl," which would be a great theme song for a gothic version of Moulin Rouge. Next comes another mosh pit pleaser entitled, "Todestanz" but don't ask me how to pronounce it. It's made for pogoing or hopefully some more imaginative dancing. I haven't heard Depeche Mode's version of "Stripped," so I can't compare Otto's Daughter's version to it, but I can tell you the OD version rocks ... as does this entire CD.

I encourage you to seek more information and links to samples at www.ottosdaughter.com.