Best Gothic Prog-Rock Duo


Critics' Picks

Brian Case is front man and guitarist for darkly Krautrocking local outfit Disappears, and Jeremy Lemos is the multi-instrumentalist half of noise-worshipping experimental duo White/Light (as well as a well-traveled soundman and occasional Reader contributor). For their mutual side project Acteurs, though, the two of them have mostly jettisoned the sounds of their long-running groups in favor of a tenebrous, synth-heavy mix of early industrial music, Suicide-style protopunk, and avant-garde electronic compositions from the earliest days of the synthesizer era. Their recent second EP, I W I (Public Information), uses minimalist arrangements that consist of little more than throbbing bass synths, washes of electronic noise, and Case's creepy monotone sprechgesang (his vocals sound more than a little like a poetry reading by a serial killer). But Acteurs also have a proggy side, which shows itself in their exploded pop structures, ambitious song lengths, and precisely engineered sounds. The title track and "Honey Bear" might work on the dance floor of a particularly intense goth club, but this music works better in private—it's one of the best borderline-scary headphone experiences I've had in recent memory.