These scene/emo people are very hard to figure out -- they will often flaunt their alleged depression for attention. Does this work? Sure, but are they lying solely for said attention? The truth is: probably. Behind this tainted facade of self-harm and drug use is someone who likes cats and rainbows, often very happy, in strong contrast to their assumed persona. This concept, unfortunately, is strongly present in The Damned's sixth album, 'Phantasmagoria.'
The great thing about this LP is that The Damned was now innovating; by rejecting their punk rock roots, he group was now a bit more experimental and less mundane. Organ melodies and sound affects splattered upon the album create a sort of haunting, yet melodic atmosphere. Some tracks on this record are anthemic and happy in their nature:- for example, the opening track, "Street of Dreams" sings of perseverance and rebellion: "We may be the haunted men, but we will hold our heads up when we're walking down the street of dreams..."
If only it was as good as it sounded.
Referring back to my original point, the facade is painfully available: my vision of goth is sad and tortured, such is the likes of Joy Division's sophomore album and The Cure's 'Pornography.' This LP, in contrast to these ideas, are happy! -- Yes, these tracks attempt to achieve Ian Curtis' baritone vocals and pop hooks and, in failure, create just another post-punk album. "The Eighth Day" has almost-deep vocals, but the exterior purpose is all too audible -- The Damned is a punk band, not goth, and their roots, inevitably, hold them up.
Ignoring that will make for a solid record; most of the songs are very good. This may not be a goth album, but whatever 'Phantasmagoria' is trying to do, it is great at it. "Edward the Bear" and "Is It a Dream" are essentially pop songs, but are very catchy and good, the latter of which sounds tenderly like a New Order song. "There'll Come a Day", however is a bad song, one which I most typically skip while listening to this.
Thus, facades are futile -- sooner or later, your real self will peak through it, and that's OK; 'Phantasmagoria', a record whose initial vibe was gothic managed to not only creep past that, but, in turn, create a great post-punk album. Be yourself, don't try to be someone else:- you just might succeed.