September 20, 2007

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HIM, Venus Doom
Warner Brothers Records, Sept. 18
Hot Topic, whose stock has been tanking like a lead rowboat since they decided to blow air-kisses at the Wu Tang crowd, might not offer sanctuary to mall-goths anymore, but gloom still burns in the collective belly of Finnish mope-glam zombies HIM. The sweet irony of a band that leverages old-time Bauhaus to make arena-metal is simply irresistible, but what’s even cuter is how the crew hints that they once knew someone who grew up in the 1950s, evidenced by how the title track rips off Elvis’ “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” Wait, shut up, they’ve got mad swindles too, making a mint off their evil-love “heartagram” symbol, seriously, part pentagram and part heart. A modicum of redemption happens when they steal the riff from Thin Lizzy’s “Cold Sweat” on “Love in Cold Blood,” not that they aren’t stealthy about it; after all, the only real similarities are the word “Cold” in both songs and the fact that they sound the same. C+Eric W. Saeger