We all know how people love to bunch up their panties and come out swinging on message boards about the be-all end-all definition of “punk.” Then we realized the gothic community has just as many permutations and combinations of what defines true “goth.” There are old-school types who bought every single record by such frontline movers and shakers as the Sisters Of Mercy, the Cure, Bauhaus and Siouxsie And The Banshees. The thing is, if you were to slap all those bands onto one playlist, they don’t really sound that similar. The only thing they really share is a sense of darkness that’s a combination of menacing, forlorn or downright cartoony. Also confusing things was the early-’90s advent of industrial-rock culture, which blurred the sonic lines when it appropriated all of goth’s sartorial monochrome vibe. (Because on the surface, you can’t look at some big-haired, black-clad club denizen and know precisely that person is obviously into, say, the Mission, and not Marilyn Manson.)
I’m not going to reaffirm everything that rock historians have told you about goth over and over for decades. Instead, I’m going to lift some lids off of crypts you may not have thought to pry into in the first place.