Victoria De Mare
ictoria De Mare
(Vic Worldwide)

Known for being a back-up, lead and harmony vocalist on various film soundtracks and a former member of the all-girl punk rock group, Black Room Doom; not to mention her stints in acting (Killjoy 3, Werewolf In A Women’s Prison) as well as having modeled for Femme Fatales, Sirens Of Cinema, Scars, Girls & Corpses and more; one could say that Victoria De Mare has made quite a name for herself in the industry. To be honest, all that I have mentioned here is just a smidgen of the accomplishments that she has made in her life and this debut solo album seems to be yet another victory for her. She explained the album as a “clean state” so to speak, something that shows she is much more than just a woman who can perform a song or two for a movie, and the album certainly seems to live up to the claim.

Victoria De Mare is what I would consider to be an alternative pop album with elements of rock, punk, and industrial/electronics that vary much differently from the bubblegum dance-music that most people now consider to constitute the pop music genre. It’s authentic music, which reminds me of classic Madonna on “Deadly Sting” a track that haunted the confines of my mind for quite a few hours in its subtle catchiness, and “Burning Inside” which comes off just as powerful and features a bit of guitar which is always welcome as far as I’m concerned. The disc even contains guitar solos on tracks like “Oh Why” which is something practically unheard of in current American pop music. Yet it also contains some surprising moments of industrial on “Haunted” which break the boundaries of pop music completely and go right into the realms of synth-rock/darkwave acts like The Dreamside and latter-era Rhea’s Obsession. In short, I’m impressed.

Alternatively, the disc has its upbeat moments which are hit and miss, like the punk rock injection of “So Long” and the trippy rock of “Howling at The Moon.” Those of you who might be familiar with one of Victoria’s most celebrated roles; Killjoy’sBatty Boop know that Victoria can do a great job of emulating that same sort of tone reminiscent of Batman’s femme fatale, Harley Quinn. But surprisingly that same bubbly approach comes out in the album a few times, where it isn’t quite as strong as her more spirited work. While tracks like “The Most” and opener “Turn Your Heart On” are certainly catchy, they just didn’t gel with me as well as her work on “Wondering” which drifts along the realms of shoegaze, and the album’s powerful emotional ballad, “Just Hold On.” Victoria truly shows that she’s a jack of all trades on this release and I’m sure that she could branch out into any style of music from this point. If I can say anything about Victoria De Mare, it’s an album that saves pop music from itself. There are plenty of fakes out there in the music industry, who are good at mimicking emotions, but you can really feel Victoria’s lyrics; which is something that I feel has been missing from this genre of music for decades now. She separates herself from the Idols and Voices and the overblown X-Factors and does an entirely authentic job at making an entirely authentic album. All this and she’s still got time to film for various movies, including the highly anticipated John Lechago film, Bio Slime. But that seems to be all in a day’s work for this highly talented and pliable young woman, who will certainly bring us even greater things to come in the future. (Eric May)

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