Blood on the Dance Floor Retrospective: Cinema Erotica

This is part of a Retrospective that covers the bands entire discography. You can find the post for the previous album here. There’s also an introduction and disclaimer that you can read here, that I strongly suggest you start out with.

After releasing Haunted in 2018, and going for a more gloomy and atmospheric sound, Blood on the Dance Floor immediately got to work on their next album, Cinema Erotica, which ended up being released in the same year, and the results were… Pretty mixed…

Cinema Erotica is notable for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s the final album released by Blood on the Dance Floor to feature Fallon Vendetta, as she would suddenly leave the band, whilst also breaking up with Dahvie Vanity, in 2019. Fallon’s departure was honestly kind of unprecedented at the time, and was never even formally announced. Ever. One day she just uploaded a picture of her all loved up with another guy (who’s name I forget, it was something fucking hilarious like “DJ Screw” or some shit) and every time either her or Dahvie was asked about the future of the band, it was just kind of ignored.

It definitely didn’t make things any more clear when Dahvie seemed to do everything he could to make it look like she was still in the band, by throwing unused vocal samples recorded by her into the background of some of the singles for the album that would come after this one… Yeah. I don’t know how he thought that was ever going to work in the long term. Dahvie Vanity’s mind works in a way that’s honestly just baffling at times. But we’ll talk more about all of that in the next part of this Retrospective.

So yeah, this album is the last one to feature Fallon Vendetta, and it’s also the last time Blood on the Dance Floor, or any music project released by Dahvie Vanity, would feature another full time vocalist besides himself. Outside of a handful of guest appearances in some songs, this is the last album where he ever worked alongside someone else. And that’ll likely always be the case given recent events, but we’ll talk about all of that at a later date.

In terms of sound, Cinema Erotica is kind of hard to pin down. The atmospheric and gloomy aesthetic that was present on Haunted has been scrapped in favour of something a lot noisier and heavy, with the odd outlier or two. This is a record that kind of just focuses on being as noisy and fuzzy as possible, and the lyricism is all over the place with no real consistent theme. Some of the songs are sexually charged and energetic. Others are slower and more focused on romance. And there’s even the odd spiteful, hate fuelled track thrown in for good measure too.

Production wise, it’s also a bit of a step down from Haunted. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but Cinema Erotica is easily one of the worst sounding albums in the bands discography when it comes to production quality, which is just… Fucking bizarre. Put it this way: Let’s Start a Riot and Diamond have better production quality than this. And those albums were like… MySpace era recordings. Uploaded to the internet for free. During the peak scene years where everyone was making shit in GarageBand from their bedroom and calling it music.

As for what I think of the album? Ehh. I’m pretty mixed on it honestly. I remember really hating this album when it first released, but after listening to it a handful of times this week for this Retrospective, it’s kind of grown on me slightly. I’m still not the biggest fan of it in general, and there are a lot of weak points, but there are a few tracks that are pretty interesting, and dare I say, good.

So anyway, let’s just get into it.

The album kicks things off with the title track: Cinema Erotica and it honestly slaps pretty fucking hard. This is easily one of the best produced songs on the album with some really kick ass drums and a cool as fuck beat that just hits hard. The lyrics aren’t the best, which is kind of a given, given the title of the song, but the vocal performances from Dahvie and Fallon are pretty solid and go along well with the instrumental. It’s a noisy, catchy and energetic opener to the album, and I like it a lot.

Next up is Disco Bloodbath (Reign In Infamy) and… Yeah. I don’t like this song much at all. It has a really forgettable production, awful vocals and… It’s just not a good song. At all. I don’t have much else to say about it. It’s just… Kinda there. And it’s boring.

After that we have Haunted (Cursed to Feel) and it’s a bit of an outlier compared to the rest of the album, being a more atmospheric track that feels like it was lifted straight off of Haunted. Which is kind of funny, given that the track is also called Haunted. It’s a gloomy and depressing track, and a nice change of tone from the previous two tracks that were noisy and energetic. It’s kind of weird seeing it on an album like this, and feels a little out of place, but as its own thing it’s really fucking good and better than most of the stuff on here.

The Runaways is next, and it’s a really mixed track for me. It’s a slower track, with this really noisy synthesised beat, and soft vocals from Dahvie and Fallon, with the lyrics focusing on romance and sticking by one another’s side through thick and thin (which is again, hilarious because they split up after this album). It’s a nice little romance song, albeit a little juvenile, since it feels like it’s from the perspective of two teenage runaways with a really childish concept of what love is but… It’s kind of sweet, in the most bizarre way. However, the final segment of The Runaways is absolutely dreadful and features some of the worst rapping I’ve ever heard from, not just Dahvie Vanity, but any artist in my fucking life. Oh my fucking Christ, the rapping here is so fucking bad, that even I cringe whenever I hear it. And I love this fucking band!

The lyrics don’t fucking help either. With such classic lines such as “You, you my boo, always keep it fairly true”, “Like Pokemon, I choose you, you can be my Pikachu” and “Will our story be never ending? Captain Hook without pretending”, this segment really fucking lowered the already low bar of what constitutes the worst lyrics ever recorded in music. Like what the fuck?

And it’s made even more offensively bad because of how it ruins what is otherwise a really nice, synthpop song that’d probably be the best on the album. We didn’t need a Pokemon reference and Pikachu samples alongside a rap verse about love and Captain Hook in the 2008 MySpace days, let alone 2018. For fuck sake.

Anyway, after that incredibly mixed track, we’ve got probably my favourite song on the album: Vengeance. With a more atmospheric production, hard hitting beats and lyrics focusing on revenge, it’s a banger of a track and easily the darkest one on here. The vocals are also among the best on the album, particularly in the chorus where Fallon kills it. And there’s some pretty great screaming vocals in the background from Dahvie too. Oh yeah, and this track also has a rap segment towards the end, but it doesn’t suck this time and has some fucking cool, if a bit edgy, lines. Something about “Resurrect and defeat, your soul is mine to keep” is just kind of awesome, in the lamest way possible. Hell, the chorus even namedrops “Blood on the Dance Floor”. That’s kinda cool. I like that sort of stuff in music I guess.

Sadly, we’re back into mediocrity with the next track, The Dominant which is a sexually charged track with some really noisy production and shitty rapping that I really don’t care for all that much. And while I’m normally a fan of the bands noisier tracks, the production here sounds like it was fucking made in Guitar Pro or Power Tab or something. I wish I was joking. At least the chorus is pretty cool, with some super distorted vocals and a cool instrumental. But aside from that, it’s pretty uninteresting. If you want a good laugh though, the music video is pretty funny, in an awesomely bad kind of way. I don’t completely hate this track, but it’s painfully mediocre and kind of forgettable.

Then we have Diamonds which is basically a really fucking over the top, Synthpop rap song with really braggadocios and boastful lyrics. The rapping on this one isn’t Dahvie’s best effort, but it’s not completely horrendous either. And hey, some of the lines here are fucking gold and kind of funny. The chorus on the other hand is incredibly catchy and almost infectious, but in the most annoying way possible. It’s one of those choruses that I find myself humming but I really don’t want to because it’s irritating. “BUR! BUR BUR BUR! BUR BUR BURRRRR!!! You be flexin’ in ice tea?” …I think that’s what it says. I don’t fucking know. There’s no lyrics online for this song, so I’m just going with what my ears can make out.

Anyway, despite my complaint about the chorus, I won’t deny that Diamonds is an energetic and catchy as fuck song with some really neat production. I like it, even if it’s a little grating.

Next up is The Climax which is a song about exactly what you’d expect given the title. Yes. It’s a song about reaching orgasm. And look, I don’t fucking mind when Blood on the Dance Floor decides to make a sexually charged song, but it has to be fun. It has to be catchy. It has to be entertaining. This… Really isn’t any of those things. It’s a noisy, juvenile mess of a song. If it sounded like something from Epic or Let’s Start a Riot I’d be all over this shit, but it doesn’t. It’s weak. It’s boring. And it sucks. But hey, at least you get to watch Dahvie and Fallon stare at you for 3 minutes in this incredibly awful lyric video.

Death Squad is the penultimate track, and I like it quite a bit. It’s probably the noisiest song that the band has ever done with an instrumental that’s so over the top and loud that it kind of drowns out everything else in the song. Hell, it’s such a loud song, that it’s kind of hard to even hear the vocals sometimes. Yet, I don’t completely hate it. It slaps hard. It’s an interesting song, especially on this album where there’s far more misses than hits. It’s a little cheap sounding production wise, but it’s a banger at the very least.

Then we’ve got Anthem For The Weekend which is a weirdly upbeat and energetic song with a super happy instrumental and lyrics focusing on partying and enjoying life to the fullest. It’s one of the better songs on the album, and it stands out with its positive energy and happy vibes, but much like Haunted (Cursed to Feel) it feels a little out of place compared to everything else on here. And it’s a weird way to close the album. But hey, it’s not bad. It’s a decent song with some nice, positive energy and some funny rhymes.

There’s also a closing track in the form of El Fin which is just a 45 second instrumental and it’s kind of neat. But that’s about it.

And that’s Cinema Erotica. It’s not as bad as Bitchcraft and it does have a few stand out tracks, but the vast majority of what’s at offer here ranges from lackluster to downright terrible. Even the best tracks on here have their awful moments, such as that fucking atrocious rap segment at the end of The Runaways.

It’s not the bands worst work, but compared to their best, even their more average, works it’s just really, really forgettable. And it’s a crying shame this had to be the last album with Fallon.

And now, here’s some track ratings for you all:

Track Ratings:

  1. Cinema Erotica – 9/10
  2. Disco Bloodbath (Reign In Infamy) – 2/10
  3. Haunted (Cursed to Feel) – 8/10
  4. The Runaways – 7/10
  5. Vengeance – 10/10
  6. The Dominant – 5/10
  7. Diamonds – 8/10
  8. The Climax – 3/10
  9. Death Squad – 8/10
  10. Anthem For The Weekend – 7/10
  11. El Fin – 5/10

Best Song(s):

Vengeance, Cinema Erotica, Haunted (Cursed to Feel)

Worst Song(s):

Disco Bloodbath (Reign In Infamy), The Climax, The Dominant

Would I Recommend It?

Outside of the tracks I put under “best” and maybe Diamonds… No. Not really.

The best songs on this album are pretty great, but as a whole experience, Cinema Erotica is just really lacking. It’s got some noisy production, which is sometimes neat, but it’s bogged down by how awful and cheap it sounds. And it’s not a charming cheap like the bands earlier material. Combine that with some really awful performances and a lot of songs that are just boring as shit and even I, a fan of the band, who has defended most of their work throughout this Retrospective, can’t recommend it.

Vengeance is a banger though. Go listen to it.

What’s Next?

Well folks, next up we’ll have finally reached the end of our journey through Blood on the Dance Floor’s discography, and will be covering the final album released under the bands name: Hollywood Death Star.

It’s a weird as fuck album, that varies wildly due to the circumstances of its creation, and… There’s a lot to say about it.

Until next time!

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