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Gothy stuff I find surprisingly enjoyable - 75%

caspian, September 24th, 2010

I could definitely see myself absolutely hating this as recently as a year ago, but after discovering Tears For Fears' surprising non-crappiness and developing a fondness for some early 80's MOR (Yacht Rock, you have much to answer for!!) my hatred for 80's new wave/goth/music in general has pretty much disappeared. The soaring vocal lines! The awesome bombasticness of so much of the stuff, the love of super digital sounding tones. It sure beats the hell out of the modern day Australian pop, which features whiny divas or terrible pop/folk dudes.

I can't name many in the way of influences as I'm not exactly an expert in this sort of stuff but this whole thing nails a lot of "80's music" type stuff. The gossamer-thin female vocals have a bit of an early 4AD vibe, the chorused clean guitars are straight out of the 80's, the production has those loud synths and big snare tones down, and the male vocals... Well, I'm not really sure where they're from, but those low, supremely bummed and not-really-all-melodic tones sound like a lot of gloomy dudes who want to be/be with Robert Smith or whoever. I love his real repetitive stuff in "Lorelei" (probably my favourite track in general) and yeah, for the most part he works well, making the whole thing a bit gloomier and weightier.

Admittedly metal influences here are somewhat thin on the ground; I'm not familiar with anything else these guys have done but I have a feeling that some other release was what get them accepted into the MA. There's a few variations on that "chugging in the background" type thing that Nightwish/most Eurogay bands have done, plus a bit of Katatonia thrown in, perhaps. Not really much in the way of guitar riffs, but the fairly solid keyboard layering keeps that from ever becoming too much of an issue. Plus, there's a bit of tonal variation; from chugging guitar action to vaguely post-punkish clean guitar arpeggios throughout keeps your eyelids from drooping. All in all the band understands that if you're not going to be riffing like crazy you gotta add some other things to keep the interest going; and while I can't see myself listening to this on repeat for hours on end it works for the hour or so it goes for.

This isn't amazing; I dig Lorelei and Siren but nothing here is pure gold or anything. Still, it's an enjoyable listen and seeing as I've heard sweet FA of Gothic stuff it's a relatively unique sounding thing, for me at least. Give it a listen if you're curious/bored, there's far worse things you could be doing.