It comes as no surprise to learn that My Gold Mask’s Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo are fans of giallo, a genre of Italian cinema saturated by garish colors and melodrama galore that was at its creative apex in the 1960s and ’70s. The Chicago-based trio (drummer James Andrew recently joined the founding duo) has name-checked Dario Argento’s delirious cult classic Suspiria as a driving influence, which makes sense — the band’s latest album, Leave Me Midnight, has enough gothic flourishes to get Mario Bava’s blood pumping. (We’d be willing to bet a Bava box set that the band’s name has something to do with the Italian filmmaker’s The Mask of the Demon, another classic of the genre.)
“Never Go Home” kicks things off in creepy fashion as Rochelle chants over a desolate beat and Armondo’s atmospheric guitar lines before repeating the song’s title with dispiriting urgency. “Some Secrets” sounds like something those masked dudes in Eyes Wide Shut would play while indulging in their kinked-out fantasies, and “I, Animal” channels early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, an obvious touchstone via Rochelle’s versatile, Karen O-esque vocal excursions and Armondo’s Rockabilly-inflected guitar work.
Leave Me Midnight’s most oddly affecting moment occurs amid “Without,” a moody mid-tempo “love” song in which Rochelle and Armondo trade vocals, repeatedly pleading (to each other?) that “I’m without you.” Peter Murphy would approve.
MY GOLD MASK performs Saturday, April 13 at MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine. Check out performance times and get venue details here.