Dorian Gray mk I (1981-83)
New-wave art-rock band on the stylistic path similar to Boa only with more claustrophobic vibes and less commercial appeal. Recalling late 1970s Bowie, Japan and Talking Heads among other influences, young Dorian Gray was a promising band at the crossroads – stretched in between rock background, art tendencies and popular perspectives. At the start they were a challenging act and it seemed they would not be easily compromised. They even used to present themselves with glamorous vampire theatrics (similar to Bauhaus) which was an off-putting aspect for many.
Dorian Gray captured their qualities best on the dark and neurotic (almost post-punk) Demo ’82. This excellent demonstration tape reeks of decadent Eastern European Romanticism with just enough sweat and blood of a tight live group.
Unfortunately, the same material re-recorded for the debut studio album “Sjaj u tami” issued by Jugoton in 1983 had its vital rock edge wiped off. It was produced by Aleksandar Habić, a sound architect of New Pop hailing from Belgrade. He was known for turning bands with already developed identity (or peculiar character) into more palatable POP formats, acceptable for wider public (see also: U škripcu, Beograd, etc. from Serbia).
The hit-single “Sjaj u travi” (Walker Brothers cover) included on the album with old material additionally moved attention from rock unit toward theatrical pop-singer with impressive voice. Original band split up in winter 1983/84. Some folks liked them better when they were “sick”.
The Listening Booth at Stražarni lopov: Dorian Gray