There's a new sound in the underground: Dark Cabaret. Taking its visual cue from the decadence of 1920's Weimar Republic, bands such as Boston's The Dresden Dolls, New York City's Revue Noir, and San Francisco's Jill Tracy are tweaking the Cabaret sensibilities, mixing in elements of Rock, Punk & Death Rock to create an exciting new movement with a look and a sound uniquely their own.
A review from BlissAquamarine.net:
Compilation of artists inspired by 1920s/30s cabaret, but often with added darkness and sleaze courtesy of further influences from punk, rock and goth. The Dresden Dolls' piano based and undeniably cabaret-ish Coin Operated Boy begins as a very lighthearted and humorous number. It gets more melancholic later on, but the dark mood is interspersed with a kind of slapstick circus music. Revue Noir have a big, dramatic, orchestrated song. Jill Tracy has a sleazy, jazz-inspired track with ominous violin, occasionally discordant piano and a lyrical plot that sounds straight out of a pulp novel. Katzenjammer Kabarett are part gothic rock, part cabaret, part horror movie soundtrack. With Audra's Cabaret Fortune Teller, the only obvious cabaret reference is in the title; the music itself is dark post-punk with distorted vocals and strange keyboard effects. Nicki Jaine, also of Revue Noir, has a very strong, confident, forceful voice, and her song Pretty Faces is an effective combination of acoustic pop, cabaret, jazz and blues. Pretty Balanced's track is a dark, brooding number from the more experimental side of gothic rock. Black Tape For A Blue Girl appear here with a remix of Knock Three Times, from their recent Halo Star album. This is an amusing sendup of goth stereotypes ("Knock three times on your coffin if you want my love", "She was so cute in a why don't you get out and see the sun kinda way" etc), which shows that not everyone in the gothic scene takes themselves too seriously. The Brides do dark yet playful rock with a noticeable pinch of cabaret. Rozz Williams' Flowers is dark minimalistic rock. Thou Shalt Not are about dark humour; True Love is a tongue in cheek tale about murder, appropriately set to an ironic mix of slapstick silent movie style piano and funereal bell-pealing. As is usual with Projekt, this album proves there is far more to gothic music than the 80s stereotypes. There's a lot of impressive stuff here and it seems the dark cabaret scene is one that's well worth exploring further.