After the success of platinum-winning Bloody Kisses (1993), Type O Negative come into their album October Rust with confidence and bravado. They use it to further explore the doom–pop soundscapes found in its predecessor. Simultaneously quintessential expression and parody of the 1990’s goth zeitgeist, October Rust’s catchy synth work, and doomy, sludgy guitar riffs make a carefully crafted backdrop for Steele’s uncannily low-pitched voice, carrying him as he explores themes of love, death, sex, and obsession.
My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend
October Rust ‘s lead single My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend is carried by a haunting synth hook that creates contrast with a claustrophobic verse. It plays on the lower end of Steele’s register and Hickey’s muddy guitar tone. A number of dramatic sighs, breaths, and giggles peppers the song. Besides, it expertly touches many of the keywords that define the band’s visual imaginary: meat and cigarettes, latex, fur, and leather.
Type O Negative further explore theatricality in the wordily titled The Glorious Liberation of the People’s Technocratic Republic of Vinnland by the Combined Forces of Europa. It is a minute-long snippet during which the band shows they can go operatic, while the following Wolf Moon plays on the language of the time’s media obsession with lycanthropy to talk about bloody sexuality. The same concept also recurs in the movies Wolf, Bad Moon, and Moonchild, plus the more mainstream An American Werewolf in Paris shortly after the album’s publication.
Aptitude for covers
The last single, Cinnamon Girl, is actually a Neil Young cover (off of 1969’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere), as dark and suggestive but not without love for the original. This is a good example of the sensible (and often tongue-in-cheek) aptitude for covers Type O have displayed along with their whole career.
The work always manages to remind the listener not to take it too seriously, though, embroidered as it is with moments of camp, spoken-word skits, and a first track (Bad Ground) that simulates a faulty speaker connection to trick its listener to get up and check. Who knew morbidity could be such fun?
You can find the album on Spotify.