CLIFF AND IVY
Center Stage here
for their new “SPIRIT ROOM” Album
on HOUSE OF EXTREME DARKNESS
Electrifying Effort from Gothic Rock Duo CLIFF AND IVY
and An Ace Roster of Musician Collaborators
The intro on CLIFF AND IVY:
CLIFF AND IVY are out of Alaska (Anchorage), they are the states only gothic rock band and a sensational one, at that. CLIFF AND IVY have written and performed together for over 30 years. Their music resume includes playing in the local hardcore punk and goth scenes in New York/New Jersey, and throughout northern California.
Best known for rising above the limits of the gothic music genre and pushing this to the eventual forthcoming. Their potent music repertoire uses theatrics, poetry and interactive gothic/art/horror props to get the audience feeling apart of it all. Cliff and Ivy have performed live with goth, punk, art/coffee house and metal artists. They’ve been involved as well with soundtracks for live theatre and are in an ongoing work in progress on an original score for an Alaskan horror film called “Seven Bones”. It is being orchestrated by Rocket Joe Films in Alaska.
CLIFF AND IVY get their inspiration from art, old school goth, hardcore, punk and EBM, horror movies, no wave, industrial music, tribal music, current events and unwritten history. They’ve been compared to Dead Can Dance, Killing Joke, Ministry, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Cure.
The ‘now’ is “SPIRIT ROOM” LP:
“SPIRIT ROOM” is the absolutely brilliant new album discharge by CLIFF AND IVY. It releases this very day (3rd Oct.) on HOUSE OF EXTREME DARKNESS. The recording process for it ventured between Los Angeles and Alaska. They collaborated on their new record with some of the legendary U.S.A. gothic/deathrock originators: Rikk Agnew (Christian Death, 45 Grave, Adolescents, DI, Gitane Demone Quartet), Gitane Demone (Christian Death, GDQ), Paul Roessler (45 Grave, Screamers, GDQ), Deb Venom (GDQ, Spirit Before a Fall) and Sky Lee Vague (SBAF) on 5 songs.
The songs took beautiful moulding at Kitten Robot Studio in Los Angeles, California. Paul Roessler, went on as well for the album in being the producer/mastering guru.
CLIFF AND IVY have recently told me about the importance of having these fine rocking USA gothic deathrock originators involved throughout their album:
“It’s been such a privilege and honor to work with all of them. We were fans of all their bands to start with.
We ended up collaborating on some tracks which were fully formed ahead of time. Some were created on the spot on the studio. Making music that has never been heard before right in the moment – was so exciting.
Rikk’s guitar is truly inspired and he can throw down the most masterful lead you can think of. Gitane is an extremely versatile vocalist, a total expert and picks out perfect harmony and juxtaposition. Paul is such a great pianist and keyboard player, and he crafts an individual sound for you. He draws upon a mountain of creative thoughts and answers inside, which are served by his expertise in the studio. Paul as a producer has been the only one to truly “get” us. Deb is a rock solid performer and multi-instrumentalist, who really knows a sound. Sky is full of energy and able to drive a song with tons of feeling.
It was like being in a lockbox of creativity where all sounds have a place and they fall like an organic process. We live in Alaska, we are not short of ideas and our own creative process but it takes spending time with these expert musicians who have grown the scene themselves to really see where you fit. We are so thankful to be a part of the story of original contemporary deathrock/goth and experimental music through these collaborations.”
FORKSTER ‘Track by Track” Outlook on CLIFF AND IVY’S “SPIRIT ROOM”
(To Purchase Tracks or their entire “SPIRIT ROOM” Album: PLEASE CLICK HERE)
TRACK #1 “Fossil Fuel“ =
The opening track is a ‘swirling & whirling’ gothic/darkwave music direction. Stomping mighty vocal leads, deliciously and harmoniously haunting chorus group vocals, stunning industrial thriving riff actions alongside booming rhythm drives. An electrifying start, ‘thrilling & chilling’ track!
TRACK #2 “Hand of Freedom” =
Launches straightaway into flooring riff flights that have the edge and fury of a Social Distortion punk rock pogoing. This rocking tune throughout gives a sensational feel of a harmonious ‘Sisters Of Mercy’ vocal strength with a more than admirable punk rock era music charge. The rock n’ roll diversity gorgeousness is so welcomed. A riveting tune that literally kept my ear rock modules ‘captivated and gravitated’ completely, nothing short of magnificent!
TRACK #3 “Dogs of Fate” =
A superb gothic rocking piledriving swarm of pulverizing riff swoons, melodically charming lead vocals with excellent cathedral backing swoons. Thumping and grooving rhythm units are killer strong here too! This brings forth an overall exceptional ethereal rock voyage, stunning track!
TRACK #4 “Coronation” =
Bizarrely genius musical gales of floating out loopy/jazzy rushes championed by Paul Roessler on the radiating keyboards. It has the comparable character of a Nick Cave eerie river song to a Leonard Cohen glorious music calling. Impressively it delights without a guitar rocketing. The highlights for the song for me is Cliffmonk’s powerhouse low-end bass presence, as well as, where again the keyboard excellences glide on, soulfully crawly vocal roars stroll down and ‘steady and ready’ important rhythm ships ‘without question’ captains this music expedition, wicked track!
TRACK #5 “Code of Creation” =
The ‘snarling and tender’ tune excites about around a shadowy post-punk music vibe. Superbly sparkling entirely on the album are lower lead vocals by Ivy Silence. They thrust up a notch here with a radiating vocal comparison brilliance to Ronny Moorings (Clan Of Xymox) and Jim Reid (Jesus and Mary Chain). She has a rocking and calming deepness that just filled my music orbits remarkably. The rest of the musician efforts defines with howling riff leads, swimming keyboard leaps and controlled yet avant-garde tempo rhythm airs, ace track!
TRACK #6 “Gatekeeper” =
It might well be the most hypnotizing track on the album. It oozes out with music feels of mystery/suspense and seductiveness. The musicianship talents soar out extremely heightened and percussion and bass low-end execution, piercing synth thrills of like a trumpeter wailing out an octave that sticks to your music ear ribs, superbly galavanting piano caverns, crunching riff masterings and ‘mesmerizing’ vocal sorcery. “Wow”, what an enlightening music rendezvous, terrific tune!
TRACK #7 “Skeleton Light” =
“Skeleton Key” is a wildly trippy, hypnotic track. It is a joint music presence that swarms effectively non-stop and then masterfully goes into a psychedelic rock trance ending fade out, what an ace music vibe, for sure. Highlights for me here are the striking and rising vocal soars alongside the wickedly inventive drum mastering. The vibe definitely puts me in that Alien Sex Fiend music daze, far-out sounding track!
TRACK #8 “Fossil Fuel” Roessler mix =
We love the “Fossil Fuel” Roessler mix here at FORKSTER so much that it is running as our top choice for Best Darkwave Dance Pick in 2017. It has a legitimate early 1990’s Darkwave club groove flavouring. It ‘belts out’ a rocking rhythm vibe as good as “My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult”. The symphonic chorus rock chant charm truly brought out to the forefront is a beautiful liking to “Sisters of Mercy” backing vocal chills. Paul truly took the CLIFF AND IVY tune of tremendous music substance already and transported it to a dimension of being a very favourable request to gothic/darkwave dancefloors globally, “Love” this unified ghostly track, nothing short of dazzling!
TRACK #9 “Fossil Fuel” Achromatic Residue Remix =
An intentional music gloom platform for the entitled Achromatic Residue Remix for “Fossil Fuel”. Furthermore, this really defines the artistic grace for CLIFF AND IVY, where ones would just sense a dreadfulness only for the song well, it couldn’t be any further from the real truth. It radiates with an electronic synth beautification and ‘Ivy Silence’ sounds as glowing and comfortable as the opening track version of the single, “Fossil Fuel”, just a wonderful closing touch for the album.
FORKSTER Overall Musicianship Breakdowns for “SPIRIT ROOM” LP:
“Without a shadow of a doubt” these are as good as any gothic rock lead vocal I have truly heard in about 3 years. What Ivy Silence radiates out with at an A+ quality is a lowering tone depth that rings out ghoulish might with diversity range to control and conquer era comparisons to greats out of post-punk, darkwave, punk rock and death rock genres. A wise vocalist that is fantastically helping in setting the tone for a ‘rocking out’ gothic rock steady appeal in the upcoming years.
High range exquisite backing vocal flights that truly shine with a delightfulness of their own. They ‘unquestionably’ provide a haunting great symphonic marvellous. When they are adjoined with Ivy’s leads well, let’s just say my ear rock chambers are ‘gleaming & beaming. Most certainly acknowledged and I applaud you both.
These sparks out, crunch large, snarl loudly/proudly and stamp out the gothic/deathrock music punch magnitude. The legendary Rikk Agnew has certainly legitimized this album’s sincere guitar potency with his lethal riff injections!
One half of the dynamic, rocking duo CLIFF AND IVY, CliffMonk delivered ‘sizzling and hissing’ rhythm riffs (for “Fossil Fuel”, “Hand of Freedom” and “Dogs of Fate”) that were exceptionally cool in character and righteously on’ in skill!
Energizing stick actions that have exceptional talent and skill. In being a steady kick rhythm, tribal influence, or a rocking and rolling motorway exhibition, Sky Lee Vague is the real deal on the new CLIFF AND IVY album.
The low-end maestro CliffMonk plays a very pivotal part in providing the backbone groove for the album. I particularly love how they want it evidently ‘booming and zooming’ into your rocking ear sockets. He is unmistakenly a smashing beast on his ‘gloomy and boomy’ low-end airs.
This impressively important musician over the years has masterfully added a mountainous keyboard/piano mastery throughout on “SPIRIT ROOM”. It swirls around with vibrant on/off tempo glitter. It brings a music frenzy fantastic, for sure.
Loving the synths but not hearing them in the standard fashion was an electrifying music listening experience for me. They were completely at will with experimentation and off pace music colourings. In fact, the constant keyboards/piano and synths/synthesizers involvements all truly help structurally mould this entire LP into an Avante-Garde, gothic rock gem!
Songs / Production Footnotes:
Cliffmonk – Bass /drum programming and rhythm guitar
Ivy Silence – Lead vocals/lyrics
“Fossil Fuel“, “Hand of Freedom“, “Dogs of Fate” – Cliffmonk rhythm guitar, bass and drum tracks recorded at House of Extreme Darkness, Anchorage, Alaska
“Fossil Fuel“, “Hand of Freedom“, “Dogs of Fate” music written by Cliff Livingston and lyrics by Ivy Silence with additional tracking at Kitten Robot Studio
“Code of Creation“, “Gate Keeper“, “Skeleton Light” – co-written by Cliff Livingston, Ivy Silence, Rikk Agnew, Gitane Demone, Paul Roessler, Deb Venom, and Sky Lee Vague.
“Coronation” co-written by Cliff Livingston, Ivy Silence, Paul Roessler, Deb Venom, and Sky Lee Vague.
Spirit Room music lyrics and artwork House of Extreme Darkness, Livingston/Thrasher-Livingston (c) 2017
FORKSTER RATING for “SPIRIT ROOM” LP by CLIFF AND IVY
We live in an unfortunate music vortex at present times, where bands can’t even correctly describe their sound and genre.
CLIFF AND IVY are true music professionals that provide a positive force and energy, gothic music is in a good place with CLIFF AND IVY being an integral part of sailing their music ships ahead….FORKSTER RATING for CLIFF AND IVY’S “SPIRIT ROOM” = 10/10
CLIFF AND IVY “SPIRIT ROOM” Support Tour Upcoming October Gigs
Cliff and Ivy, Alaska’s only goth band @ Hyperion Avenue Tavern
Los Angeles, CA
Cliff and Ivy, Alaska’s only goth band @ Doll Hut
Cliff and Ivy, Alaska’s only goth band @ Beatnik Lounge
Joshua Tree, CA
Cliff and Ivy, Alaska’s only goth band @ The Golden Bull Bar
Follow CLIFF AND IVY
Written by: Timothy John Forker
Music Promotions CEO/Director at: FORKSTER
© 2017 FORKSTER MUSIC PROMOTIONS by Timothy J. Forker