Kommunity FK's one supreme moment came right at the start of its second album with the brilliant "Something Inside Me Has Died." Theatrical, dramatic, but above all its own majestic dreamy force instead of deriving from earlier goth role models, it's a compelling song, Mata's singing quavering but still strong, with just the right treatments added to his vocals to pump up the atmosphere. Add to that an excellent full-band performance, with Margaret Arana's synths adding the right mysterious sheen on top of Mata's searing guitar work, and a catchy but not sugary hook that relies on the tight turns of the rhythm section, and the result is Kommunity FK in excelsis. The rest of Close One Sad Eye lives up to that fantastic start, a bit more polished and focused than The Vision and the Voice, as well as more varied in its musical aims and goals. Though Matt Chaikin's drums in particular call to mind the rumbling semi-tribal feel of the earlier album, the more romantic, mysterious flow of the songs -- Mata helps here with some appropriately psych-inspired guitar parts -- adds to the overall picture. One song in particular, "The Vision and the Voice" itself, is another standout, with slyly addictive music that's almost -- almost! -- goth power pop and a great delivery from Mata, at once flat and seemingly bored but still naggingly focused. There are still some clearly derivative moments -- "Junkies" has a guitar line and feel that immediately called Joy Division's fierce "Colony" to mind, for instance. Overall, though, Close One Sad Eye is a definite high point for American goth/darkwave, a listen that stands up well over time while still being a product of its era.
Close One Sad Eye Review
by Ned Raggett