Thrash Hits

May 22nd, 2010

A to Z of Goth: from Androgyny to Zero

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To celebrate World Goth Day, Tom Dare went and wrote this totally not definitive A to Z of Goth. After scouring the internet for photos of hot Goth girls (he found a lot), he decided to leave out the bit claiming that Goths only wear black condoms but don’t hold it against him. At least they’re practising safe sex.

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Androgyny
Own up. You’ve all gone up to a goth you thought was fit in a rock club only to find out the beautiful lady was a beautiful man. Androgyny is key to the goth look, and many a confirmed heterosexual has found themselves appreciating it.

Black
And lots of it. Make-up, hair, nail varnish, clothes, pets, alcoholic beverages – you name it. Black is as essential to goths as Belgian lager is to football hooligans – it’s a sine qua non the size of a hair metaller’s contraceptive bill

Club scene
The legendary Batcave being just one example of goth clubs that, frankly, are much better than rock clubs. When rock clubs are still trying to gauge the crowd’s desire for heaviness, goth clubs are in full swing. They also have more girls.

Dating
It seems virtually impossible to go on to the MySpace or YouTube page of a metal band at the moment (or this website) without seeing an advert for a goth dating site. These pages presumably feature adverts for black wedding dresses, black wedding cakes and photographers who can capture the beautiful day in all its darkness and melancholy.

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Edgar Allen Poe
Dark literature lines many a bookshelf in the house of goths, and it doesn’t come much better than Poe. Yes, we at Thrash Hits have read poetry. Try not to die of shock. We didn’t learn everything we know about him on that Simpsons episode. Honest.

Fields Of The Nephilim
Everyone should own at least one album by the gothic rock titans. If you know a goth who doesn’t, buy them Elizium for their birthday. Just don’t let their other goth friends know they didn’t already have it.

Giger
HR Giger’s horrific and disturbing visions are some of the finest under the umbrella of gothic art. If you don’t believe us, check the cover of Triptykon’s brilliant Eparistera Daimones and admire. Oh, and try to spot the alien/cyborg woman being sodomised. Yes, sodomised. You won’t forget that quickly.

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Hair dye
We’re sure there are goths with their natural hair colour on display- we’ve just never met them. Pink, red, purple and, of course, black are all popular shades, but anything you can pull off will be fine. Just try to not end up looking like Rob Flynn in the promo shots for The Burning Red – that will NOT do.

Industrial
Industrial music has always been popular in the goth scene, its dark and sexual atmosphere perfectly fitting in with the aesthetics. We’re reasonably sure at least one goth baby has been conceived to Closer.

Jewellery
While jewellery clashes horribly with traditional metaller atire (it doesn’t work with our Gorgoroth t-shirts), nothing completes a goth outfit like a ring with a bloody great dragon on it- except maybe a skull pendant. Either way, jewellery is an essential.

Kinky
The ignorant observer could be forgiven for making comparisons with some of goth fashion and BDSM gear- largely because a certain amount of it does come from there, just like most of the outfits for any Venom photo shoot. But then, who doesn’t like to slip into some tight PVC, chain themselves up and ask their partner to… [They don’t want to hear about your weekends – Ed]

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Leather
Preferably black and in large quantities. Boots, trousers, skirts, coats and any other item of clothing you can think of- in goth chic, it’s better in leather.

Misery
Because we’re not so shallow we judge on appearance, of course we’ve actually hung out with goths enough to know they aren’t all really miserable, but the goth look does make misery seem en vogue. Totally unlike metal, obviously – Vader always look overjoyed in their promo shots.

New Rocks
You can’t call yourself a goth until you own a pair. They are as much a part of the goth look as beards are to Amon Amarth, panda paint is to Immortal and shite fringes are to screamo.

Opera
Look at opera costumes – dark, rich colours, lace and velvet everywhere, corsets across the board, ladies sighing and being miserable for hours on end, and in most of them, everyone dies. How much more gothic do you want?

Paradise Lost
We’re still listening to last year’s magnificent gothic opus Faith Divides Us – Death Unites Us and frankly you should be too. Metalheads and goths- style divides us – Paradise Lost unite us. Because they own.

Quiet
OK, compared to our usual crowd, anyone is quiet, but there’s a far more serene atmosphere in a group of goths than in other rock scenes. Certainly we’ve never heard a goth spontaneously break out in shouts of, “SLAYER!” the way metallers can.

Romanticism
The 19th century gothic revival and the Romantic movement frequently went hand in hand, and the modern goth subculture draws much of its ideology and style from that period. We’re not sure if Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker wore black nail varnish and dyed their hair purple, but they exemplify both, and are honorary goths. Shelley was even originally supposed to be buried in Camden.

Sex
Whether it be fashion, music or literature, there is a deep sexuality running through everything gothic. We’d like to go further, but we’d be in danger of revealing more about ourselves than you ever wanted to know [Trust us, you don’t want to know us like we do – Ed]

Titanium
If you can put titanium through it, it’s an acceptable piercing in goth circles. Piercings that look ridiculous on chumps like Escape The Fate suddenly look good if you’re a goth

Utter bollocks
There are many daft preconceptions about goths, all of which fall under this description. We’ve all heard them. While sometimes this is just daft, now and again it can be poisonous, and at worst it can result in tragedy – as those close to Sophie Lancaster found out in the worst possible way.

Vampires
Before those god-awful Twilight films hijacked them, vampires belonged to the goths. They’re pale, wear black a lot, and have fuck-all to do with trendy teenage pin-ups like R-Patz (with a name like that, he really should be in BrokeNCYDE, anyway). In fact it’s about time vampires got given back to goths- the dark, gothic vampire films are much better, for a start.

Wanton evil
If you think you have to cope with complete bell-ends for your long hair and Decapitated t-shirt, try being a goth. Talk to Paul Gibbs, who was knocked unconscious and had his ear sliced off for being a goth. Talk to the friends and family of Sophie Lancaster. Metal lyrics might frequently involve evil, but the acts of those responsible for these horrific crimes are the real thing.

Xiphoid
Meaning sword-shaped, it describes some of the jewellery popular with the scene. You’ve probably seen it advertised in the music magazines and wished you could wear it without looking like a World Of Warcraft addict. You could if you were a goth.

Yorkshire
While not the most obvious place to find gothic influence, both My Dying Bride and Paradise Lost originate from here, and parts of the landscape are dotted with ruined abbeys, giving a far more gothic ambience than you might expect. We also believe that Geoffrey Boycott and Michael Parkinson secretly dress as goths (OK, we’re lying, but the thought of Parky with black lipstick and Boycott in a pair of thigh-length leather boots is a Photoshop classic waiting to happen).

Zero
Which is how cold, in degrees Celsius, the most potent weapon a goth has at their disposal is- the goth stare. It’s enough to make us shiver just thinking about it. Brrr.


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