I imagine if Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas started a band based on a mutual love of 50s rock and roll, Low, Suicide, and X then I think it would sound like Eerie Family. Eerie Family is Alex Cuervo and Alyse Mervosh, the husband and wife duo from Hex Dispensers, as well as Cuervo releasing dark electronic music as Espectrostatic. But in Eerie Family these two let their doomed romantic sides show, keeping things pared down to drums, keys, and boy/girl vocals. The result is a fascinating and quite sweet collection of doom and gloom pop that tows the line between heart-shaped and heart-stopping.
Those who enter must be warned, if you’re coming into Eerie Family with expectations that this is going to sound anything like Hex Dispensers or Espectrostatic, leave those at the door. If those expectations are simply that it’s going to be good based on past experiences with Cuervo and Mervosh, then by all means bring those in. There’s a darkness here, for sure. But the punk/deathrock vibes of Hex Dispensers has been replaced with a moody, gloomy vibe. Subtle, low key, and very Gothic. Pop music for the end of the world.
The songs on Eerie Family’s debut are like a soundtrack to some “creature feature” love story. Opening track “Everyone Disappear” starts out with a 50s-style drum beat and the boy/girl vocals only add to that vibe. The lyrics have a real doom romanticism to them as Cuervo and Mervosh sing “If everybody disappeared/Except for me & you/ The world would be our oyster/Tell me what you’d want to do”. Throw in that low growl keyboard and we’re in Suicide territory. The lilting sway of “A Ghost Who Lives Inside Your Heart” feels like something you’d hear in some dystopian, post-apocalyptic film. Two lovers kiss as the world burns around them.
I never thought I’d feel bad for a tarantula, but in “I Am Tarantula” all that furry, menacing spider wants is your love and companionship. There’s an almost Arcade Fire vibe to the music here with the coalesce of rim shots, fuzzy keys, and the acoustic piano in the chorus. Mervosh takes lead vocals on the slinky and devilish “A Crooked Little Path”. There’s something about the sparse instrumentation that brings out an extra layer of depth in the melodies here, with the haunting electric piano, brushed drums, and Mervosh’ vocals that come across like a grown up Wednesday Adams singing with a dark gleam in her eyes. Pure dark magic. There’s even a low key cover of Hex Dispensers’ “I Hope The Sun Explodes Today” that comes across like Leonard Cohen on a Bauhaus kick.
Throughout the Eerie Family debut Alex Cuervo and Alyse Mervosh build a dark and catchy musical world. At times esoteric and Gothic but also very traditional and pop-oriented, this debut will win you over with catchy hooks and an undeniable pull into the darkness.
7.9 out of 10