Do we really need a directory listing the thousands of bands affiliated to goth? Well, Google provides 2,800,000 hits for the word so: yes. Even more so if the chronicler is Mick Mercer, a man who’s spent “nine months solid” on this who’s who of deathrock, horrorpunk, metal, noir, cabaret, ambient, post-punk and psychobilly bands with a hint of darkness in their soul.
This is basically an alphabetical list of bands, with discographies, line-ups and sometimes hilarious “biographical detail added by the bands” (see Psycho Chargers’ “Goat Story”). You can discover which act has 13 tribute bands worldwide, and which had the ashes of their deceased singer pressed into a green vinyl single. Reel as you find Johnny Cash and Adam & The Ants; scratch your head when you notice Lydia Lunch is omitted.
Mercer has a genius for inventing sub-sub-genres for certain acts: Diamanda Galas being “torch/torture” and Beatrix & The Potters “vintage bilge”. It’s easy to mock goth, but this is a serious labour of love and a fascinating resource of vital assistance to anyone uncovering music’s dark side.