The Tomb of Nick Cage, “The Pharaoh of New Orleans” (Independent)

tomb-of-nick-cage-the-pharaoh-of-new-orleansIn a city known for its meticulously preserved examples of classic architecture, the tomb of Nicolas Cage sticks out like a bizarre angry sore thumb in the middle of St. Louis Cemetery No. 1; a modernist pyramid erected by the still alive and kicking Hollywood actor and purposely positioned close to Marie Laveau’s grave, supposedly in order to bring him luck in his acting career, and also, one supposes, immortality.

It’s a good jumping-off point for goth-rock outfit The Tomb of Nick Cage, who despite the handle don’t construct any major multi-universe Coheed and Cambria–like interlocking conspiracy theory about Cage’s edifice. But they do utilize the silliness of the whole thing for their own post-punk irony, and while there are songs called “Wickerman” and “Vampire’s Kiss,” Tomb of Nick Cage basically embrace everything both cult and occult about Hollywood, celebrating the movie universes constructed by cosmic horror classics like Nightbreed, Aliens and They Live.

Lead singer Kym Trailz cannily synthesizes every “rock chick” who’s ever worn black fishnets—a yawp that stretches from Exene Cervenka to Debora Iyall to Johnette Napolitano to Donita Sparks—but what really sets these guys apart are the groove metal pedigrees of guitarists Aaron Maguire (from Convert) and Taylor Suarez. When they slow things down, the darkness gets heavy and vice versa, a nice touch of NOLA metal that puts real bite in the kitsch. Plus it allows them to freely quote Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor.