The two-person power trip that is Night Club formed in 2012, consisting of “3 Kord Scissor King” Mark Brooks (who also served as a director for Metalocalypse) and singer Emily Kavanaugh. After a series of EPs, which featured songs like “Lovestruck” and “Poisonous,” the duo released their debut album Requiem for Romance in 2016, and it earned the dubious honor of Metal Injection’s Best Non-Metal Album of the Year.
And if you can win over the metalheads, well, that’s the key to success, friends.
For their third full-length Die Die Lullaby, the gruesome twosome employ their brand of goth pop and darkwave for some of their catchiest tunes yet. Kavanaugh’s voice is sweet without going too cloying, Brooks’ composition and production is tight, and the only complaint one will have after a first listen is that there’s not more to enjoy.
The album intro “Go To Sleep” sees a synth line mimicking a music box, as a rhythm synth creeps in under, with a tick-tocking clock far enough off in the distance to not be an immediate threat, but close enough to leave one looking over their shoulder. “Die in the Disco” has an immediate catch of a looping synth, as Kavanaugh flexes the upper end of her vocal range. As the name implies, it’s a dance floor banger. “Sad Boy” starts off very much like a little song about getting closer to God, and it maintains a spooky vibe, while only coming off as vaguely dreadful. Things get a bit heavier-handed on “My Valentine,” with sitar-like effects used to tantalize and mesmerize to great sonic effect.
Then comes the one-two punch of the singles of the record, the Kraftwerkian “Miss Negativity” and the earworm that is “Gossip.” I’ve spoken at length of both tracks in previous coverage, but damn if these tracks aren’t some of the best Night Club has ever made. After these is a lovely bass line to start in “Misery Go Round,” which sees Kavanaugh playing around with metering in the chorus. What follows is “The Creepshow,” an unnerving ballad with some excellent production by Brooks.
The follow-up is “California Killed Me,” which gets back to the dance floor with loads of wubs and phasers as Kavanaugh sings about the highs and lows of her home state. Closing the casket on the album is the melancholy “Civil War,” with a piano line that doubles the vocal line. Kavanaugh sounds like an entirely different singer in the verses, going into her lower range to really pull in the emotional weight. It’s a fitting choice for a closer, as the coffin is lowered on this awesome effort by Night Club.
Die Die Lullaby is available now on Gato Blanco.