Sunday, August 18, 2013

Up From the UnderGround: MiXE1 "Lights Out"

The last sexual revolution happened on line , Myspace took internet sleaze to a next level on your front door step and what became known as social media got real social like ladies night and amateur night at the local strip  club rolled into one, bands acquired scores of groupies these guys would have ruled in the era and I feel bad for them that they missed that window of opportunity

When I put this album on I made it a point not to google them so they would remain as sight unseen. It doesn't take but hearing this guy singing a few notes to know he does not have a beard and weighs under 170lbs, in fact that might be the combined weight of the rhythm section. Granted, when I finally saw them the singer was the only goth nancy of the bunch and the rest were just blokes in black. So you don't have to dress up like Motionless in White to do this sort of thing, though if these guys were younger ,  tattooed waifs with stock in Hot Topic they would have already been on the cover of Outburn Magazine.

Sure they are electronic , but not industrial it is devoid of rough hewn , machine like grind to this album. They have more in common with Paramore than Ministry . On songs like "Find You" there is more than 30 seconds of martian brooding.

The interplay on the verses have the feel of a more solemn Linkin Park , the few growls accenting a change here and there are not convincing, as the other wise androgynous vocals make Brain from Placebo seem like he is butching it up.

Where the loops on the first song were a little repetitious, then lend way to a more organic drum feel on  "Part of Me" the bass is beefed up and lets the whole song punch more and the girly man vocals take the passenger seat. Some of the hook could benefit from a little more push from the diaphragm. The effects on the harsher screamed vocals sell them better than they did on the first song.

The singer's  phrasing is rather Billy Corgan, but the falsettos reaches against the back drop of driving electro rock works well on the chorus. Through the hooks here not as in your face as this seems to be their more reflective moment. The vocals are well produced, the layers of sounds aren't cluttered, their bass could be boosted but it's a very crystal clear radio ready sound.

The heaviest moment is in the guitar riff to " This Time" it breaks down to leave room for the fey vocal on the verse.  If you told me this was the band My Vitriol from the 90's I would believe you as they Corgan ties sound that close, though they don't have the edge to their guitars that those guys did.  They song writing isn't shabby, though not blowing the doors off the Warp tour either.

The album closes with a remix of "Part of Me " and the original mix should have replaced its bass sounds with the thicker synth employed here. It brings up the baffling thing to me which is when the remix sounds better than the original version then why didn't they just make the re-mix the actual version and write the other off as the demo. The synth sound on the chorus builds is heavier than the guitar on this time. The effects on the vocals give them a little more bass and add meat to their bones. I think they should push for the more electronic sound of the remix and it would make the goth kids much happier in the clubs than for the band to ride the fence as a rock act.

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