Review of "Die Tonight" single by Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover Issue 92
"Alaska's Premier Goth Duo" keeps us on our toes. The "Bring Us the Night" EP was a wild dive into classic So Cal style hardcore; last year's "Bloody Ghost" returned to goth, now "Die Tonight" splits the difference like a deviously delicious peanut butter cup (my whole life I've loved peanuts and chocolate), saving Ivy Silence's classic gothic crooning for a late-in-sing breakdown/cooldown when the guitars drop off. And those guitars! ClifMonk's playing is a post-punk firestorm roaring over a speed-demon bassline, slammed forward by a thwacking snare that seems to chase you down the street. This is vicious, harsh and punishing yet joyous as they always seem to be. Repeat! Repeat! These are the bad dreams you'd like more of!
After suggesting last year that “Alaska’s Premier Goth Duo” might change their premium boast given the vicious, savage, pure punk feast they unleashed like beasts on the four-song “Bring Us the Night” EP, this single returns them towards gothic footing—only intriguingly, it splits the difference, into walloping wall of guitar post-punk. Following Ivy Silence’s red herring piano intro, CliffMonk unsheathes his six-string hammer with an overdriven gnash that might come from The Adolescents’ “Creatures”; but instead of going thrash with a double-time MDC/Fartz/Neos breakneck beat, a half-time tribal dance rhythm anchors it into a Play Dead/U.K. Decay/even Big Black (“Kerosene”) sway. Meanwhile, acing goth’s punk roots again like Dinah Cancer’s demon spawn, Silence brings the creepy deathrock juju, singing rapidly in nervy fashion of headstones, bloody ghosts, parasites, and open graves. Welcome to their nightmare! (cliffandivy.com; cliffandivy.bandcamp.com)
Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover Issue 90 Spring 2022
Following two singles late last year, Alaska's goth duo has another, finally portending a forthcoming LP. But this hellraiser possibly signals a new approach... Cliffmonk and Ivy Silence trade in the lashing harsh dancebeat post-punk for a speedy, breathless punk rock breakout. It's still werewolf dark, foreboding, and even ominous- the way you like it from C and I. But it's like a frantic X cover of a Germs song, or Rhino 39 and the Flyboys-era Flesh Eaters, and you won't need a second play to shout "We're desperate, get used to it! - and "bring on that album!"
Jack Rabid, The Big Takeover Magazine #88
“If the world is going to hell we need music like this!”
— Jack Rabid, Big Takeover Magazine #82
Jack Rabid, editor of Big Takeover Magazine has reviewed Cliff and Ivy 's newest music, brand new issue #87 - thank you!
"Alaska's goth duo are between albums but Cliff Monk Livingston and Ivy Silence fill the gap with a couple of typically gnashing, sinister heavy-hitting digital releases. "Will to the Power" pairs a skipping dance beat with a Killing Joke doomsday guitar and a chunky industrial authority to dance its way to a portentous and foreboding future. The faster, "EightStar" sounds like the post-punk side of The Effigies and Big Black, if mixed with Sisters of Mercy and Christian Death - they've collaborated with members of the latter. It's another darkly menacing yet danceable floor-shaker. (cliffandivy.com, cliffandivy.bandcamp.com) House of Extreme Darkness January 2021
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“Cliff and Ivy are fantastic Goth Duo with music and lyrics that seem to come right of our a beautiful deep dark fairy-tale. It's the perfect music to sooth the soul. Favorite track: Velocity Drift.” - Kat Monroe
“Cold dark and heavy, awesome music from awesome people! Favorite track: Ohm.” - Jeremiah Saint
“The married couple behind Alaska’s only goth duo Cliff & Ivy enjoy their unique outsider status. They’re also busy as hell, with a record label, a radio show, their own albums, and a busy performance schedule that has taken them all over the U.S. Read our interview with the Anchorage Press”
The Big Takeover #81 December 2017 - "Alaska’s veteran goth rockers aren’t fooling around... they make affinity to the original L.A. death rock scene of 35 years ago plain, again recording there with Screamers/Twisted Roots legend Paul Roessler and inviting Christian Death pioneers Rikk Agnew and Gitane Demone to guest ... (on) apocalyptic post-punk nightmares such as “Fossil Fuel”... If the world’s going to hell, we need albums like this.
... and to hear the same thing only even more savage on stage, including a nasty thrashing of another vintage L.A. classic, The Gun Club’s 1981 Fire of Love opener, “Sex Beat”... (Live in the City of Fallen Angels) sure suggests C&I are a harrowing live attraction, too. ..."
Read an interview with Ivy Silence (March 2017) in Her Corrosion magazine - which focuses on women in goth and post-punk.