Gothic Music: Post-Punk, Darkwave, Deathrock and More... - For All Those Gloomy Souls Out There

The Cocteau Twins were a post punk band formed in 1979 in Scotland. Some of their songs have a gothic rock edge, although others are closer to dream pop. I'll post a few I consider to be gothic.

Here's one from their first album, 1982's Garlands. It has that specific tone on the guitar and bass that I hear in a lot of gothic post punk of the era (can't really describe it well). It has the drum machine and the amazing vocals of Elizabeth Fraser, singing about a waxing and waning moon and the devil.

Here's one from an EP released the next year, 1983's Sunburst and Snowblind. The song is Hitherto. The drum machine is heavier on this one. The guitar and bass retain the same tone but the approach is different. The synth also has more presence at parts. The vocals are more haunting and forlorn. This song gives me chills (in a good way). My description may seem melodramatic but hell, this is the goth thread, so be it.

There's probably more but that'll do for now. There's also a live version of wax and wane I like because of Elizabeth's weird body language, but the album version is the superior recording.

Ausgang were a gothic post punk band that formed in England in the early 1980s. They were a part of the batcave scene. Definitely on the heavier side with a sound comparable to The Birthday Party.

Both songs are from their 1985 release Manipulate. Definitely worth checking out.

The Damned were an English punk rock band formed in 1976. After a few albums and a few years, their sound and image definitely shifted towards gothic rock.

Here's a good example from their 1985 album Phantasmagoria -
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Modern English? It's more likely than you think. Formed in 1979, their first album Mesh & Lace from 1981 had quite a few good gothic post punk tunes on there.

The song really starts around 1:50 if you want to skip the long droning intro.

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The Sisterhood was gothic post punk band formed in 1985 featuring Andrew Eldrich from The Sisters of Mercy and Alan Vega from Suicide.

They made one album, Gift

Happy New Year
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I'm not mad at anyone, honest.
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I liked some of Alan Vega's weird rockabilly stuff after Suicide.

This is top notch.

And more punky psychobilly.

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Southern Death Cult has already been posted (Fatman is one of my favorite gothic post punk songs) but today I'll post some Death Cult.

The band formed in 1983 by Ian Astbury (formerly of Southern Death Cult) and Billy Duffy (formerly of Theatre of Hate).

After releasing a couple of EPs as Death Cult, they changed their name to The Cult, which they've gone by since.


I've mentioned the band Dead End before in my Glam thread, but since it sorta fits, they're a Visual Kei band playing a solid mix of '80s Metal with some gothy Post-Punk undercurrents on the softer songs:
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Since I mentioned them in my last post, here is Theatre of Hate, a gothic post punk band from England formed in 1980.

In this song they namedrop a bunch of murderers. Pretty interesting song, it features some tight sax playing, although used sparingly.

Some great punky riffing with that cold, metallic effect used in so many gothic post punk songs of the era. I imagine a lot of Theatre of Hate and UK Decay's songs would appeal just as much to the early punk purists as to the more arty, sombre eighties goth punks.

Lead into Gold was an Industrial side project band formed by Ministry bassist Paul Barker in 1988.

They released a few singles and EPs, and in 1990 an album Age of Reason. Then there was a long period of inactivity until 2015, when they became active again, released an EP that year and another album in 2018 The Sun Behind The Sun.

In their 1990 video for Faster Than Light you can spot a young Trent Reznor playing guitar. The song has a very gothic vibe so seems like a good fit for this thread.

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King Buzzo

I'm starboard to nowhere on the Milky Way
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Swans, an experimental rock band, had a bit of a Gothic sound during the late 80s to early 90s.
The Young Gods, a Swiss industrial rock band named after a Swans EP.
Love and Rockets, one of the other bands to come out after Bauhaus' breakup.
The Chameleons, a post-punk band from Greater Manchester.

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