Wednesday, April 24, 2024


Gretta Rochelle is lead singer for My Gold Mask, a Chicago trio who was here in June – and should be lured back soon.

Gretta Rochelle is lead singer for My Gold Mask, a Chicago trio who was here in June – and should be lured back soon.

Is it too early to nominate a band for the next Boston Calling?

Because we have to get My Gold Mask back here in front of as many people as possible.

My Gold Mask appeared on a psychedelia bill in June at T.T. the Bear’s Place, performing for a bare handful of (happy) people. That’s just typical it’s-Tuesday-in-Greater-Boston-and-these-aren’t-The-Beatles stuff, and you can’t really fault locals for not turning out for a three-band bill of unknowns with varying levels of tunefulness and talent traveling from Salem, Brooklyn or, in the case of My Gold Mask, Chicago, without a local fan base or recent social media explosion. We just don’t go out like that.

But the point is that My Gold Mask – lead singer Gretta Rochelle, guitarist Jack Armondo and drummer and synth and samples master James Andrew – deserve far more than mid-billing on a Tuesday in front of a half-dozen people wishing there were more of a crowd so they could just, damn it all, let loose and dance.

That’s why Boston Calling, the new signature music festival under way on Boston’s City Hall Plaza, needs to get My Gold Mask onto one of its stages as soon as possible (which, unfortunately, is May).

Because My Gold Mask just rocks.

Its combination of goth and surf rock and hint of Bollywood makes for music that is uniquely mystical, immediately identifiable but relentlessly powerful. This remains the band you’ve wanted since Siouxsie and the Banshees broke up in 1996, so it’s not surprising reviewers keep throwing the word “dark” around to describe them, or that Armondo and Rochelle say they prefer to write during the winter. But as befits a group with such a range of influences, this is hardly about gloom and moping. If you like your music to exude sex and danger – and we are, after all, talking about rock –  this is definitely the band for you.

“I’m very drawn to deep grimy sounds as well as ethereal and pretty atmospheric sounds. I like when the two coexist and I like the combination of opposites; cold but warm, organic with synthetic,” Armondo told The Seventh Hex in a May interview, backed up by Rochelle: “I also tend to lean toward aggressive sonics and like how they live side by side next to the prettier softer sounds.”

This is work that seems to never stop filling you up without quite sating you, and that holds true even for the band’s full-length album, “Leave Me Midnight,” 10 solid tracks that almost never lets you down. (If there’s filler on the disk, it’s “In Our Babylon,” but you can forgive it because it leads in to the exquisite “Burn Like the Sun.”)

It’s simply exciting music with production that is professionally slick and garage band powerful at the same time, and the band lives up to the production when it performs live, with Rochelle making an exceptional frontwoman. The band is at Chicago’s own Riot Fest next and tours solidly throughout October, with no word on when they might come back through Greater Boston. But they’re ready for Boston Calling and whatever comes after.

Speaking of what comes after: As good as “Leave Me Midnight” is, My Gold Mask actually takes another step forward into evocative but propulsive, danceable rock with a song that’s not on that album, a single called “Dissipate.” Listen and try not to want this band onstage in front of you.

Want more? Sample My Gold Mask on SoundCloud, or listen and buy on BandCamp and iTunes.