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Although Rasputina have put out a couple of albums on Sony and Instinct, they would fit right in on the 4AD roster next to groups like His Name Is Alive and Dead Can Dance. Not that they're derivative of anything discovered by 4AD honcho Ivo Watts-Russell -- it's just that their pseudo-gothic chamber pop shares the same art-school sensibility as the aforementioned groups. Singer-songwriter Melora Creager, a classically trained cellist/dulcimer player who joined Nirvana's backline on their final tour, birthed Rasputina in the early 1990s. She and cellist/singer Zoë Keating wear frayed Victorian dresses to bring out the sense of antiquity in their shadowy siren soundscapes. Their dark vision caught the ears (and eyes) of Marilyn Manson, who played keyboards and remixed songs on their 1997 EP, Transylvanian Regurgitations. At times, the New York band sounds like a string ensemble for the late Anton LaVey's Satanic Mass; at other moments, they come across as the bastard children of the Incredible String Band who got chainsaws and cellos to play with at a dangerously young age. 2004's Frustration Plantation offers intertwining cellos, a delightful narrative of dark Edwardian humor, and the six-stringed electric madness of guitarist Jonathan TeBeest, Rasputina's first male member.
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