Eerie Von – Bad Dream No. 13

Eerie Von
Bad Dream No. 13

Eerie Von, notorious as a member of both Danzig and Samhain, probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. Since departing from those outfits, Von has released three solo albums – 1996’s Uneasy Listening, 1999’s The Blood and the Body, and most recently Bad Dream No. 13 (2005). Although all three discs have been similar in tone to Eerie’s previous bands, his most recent effort attempts to move out from under the shadow of the Danzig/Samhain behemoth with a few stylistic changes. However, Eerie’s vocals sound too much like Glenn Danzig to make much of a distinction.

Eerie Von’s theme for Bad Dream No. 13 is a collection of songs (13 to be exact) told from the perspective of a killer, so the lyrics range from topics of rage, violence, guilt, and fear. Although not an entirely unique concept, Von does his level best to write songs that evoke these uncomfortable feelings in the listener. More often than not, though, the songs come off like a cheesy slasher movie soundtrack than anything too serious. Perhaps it’s the employment of a drum machine or the use of a theremin for that truly “eerie” sound, but many of the songs on Bad Dream No. 13 seem to be trying to hard to be something they aren’t.

“A Cage, is a Cage” starts off strong with a great bass line and is at least a passable goth-rock number, but “The Bone Drone” is a weak attempt at some sort of slow gothic blues stomp that immediately throws the album off kilter. The upbeat, semi-industrial “In the Shade” sounds like Eerie tried to take cues from White Zombie, while other songs lose focus just for the lyrics alone, like the overly repetitious “2 Tears in a Bucket,” which features absurd lines like, “2 tears in a bucket, mutherfuckit, rise above it.”

A few of Bad Dream No. 13’s tracks are a bit more impressive, but unfortunately these are nearly crowded out by the rest. “Sing, Sinner, Sing!” takes another stab at something a little bluesier – this time with a bit of slide guitar – and the simpler approach works much better. The instrumental “Bendediction #2” takes a wholly different approach with cathedral-style organ and short punctuations of bass guitar.

Honestly, it’s hard to imagine who could really get into Bad Dream No. 13 other than diehard Danzig and Samhain fans. Von’s vocals and overall style are just too close to his previous bands to ignore. Although I commend Eerie for making this album 100% his own creation – including not just the songwriting and instruments, but the recording as well – he might benefit from collaboration with musicians outside his normal comfort zone.