Saturday, October 19, 2013
I was a big fan of the Finnish Band's last e.p. "Use Your Deluge" so my spider-senses tingled when I caught news of this debut full length that is slated for a November 29 th release. They did not disappoint. This shows a world of growth. While the driving punk roots of their earlier work are still present the whole album shows a refined sense of melody and their singer really stepping up to the plate with golden pipes balancing out his sardonic soul.
While this band got lumped in with the resurgence of goth/death-rock/post-punk or whatever you want to call it, on their last e.p., i always felt other influences between the Joy Division, like Blue Oyster Cult Hawkwind or Iron Butterfly, when some type of garage like space rock vibe , echoed out from their cavernous pummel . I felt it put them in the same sonic zip-code as A Place To Bury Strangers. Well that is still present, but with a sense of hooks. There are also tastes of horror punk and surf rock lingering in the reverb heavy guitars.
Right when the vocals come in on the albums opener, you can hear that Kvohst is opening up and singing more as this croon rockets out over the tidal wave of guitars. With the expansive range , he still returns to the lower creepy baritone, but uses it more as an effect rather than staying in a monotone narrative like Ian Curtis. He even does a call and response with the lower register vocal on " Nuclear Winter".
"Genocidal Crush" find the band taking an almost an upbeat Echo and the Bunnymen approach, until the chorus bangs in. The chorus consistently pull you in from the more brooding throb of the bass driven verses. On a song like "Ghosts Out of Focus" the band has more in common with Merchandise than they do Night Sins or the Spectres. The vocals being more dynamic and the guitars are allowed to give them more space rather than having to keep a continuous tension. This allows the guitar to wander into different sonic spaces than they did on the previous efforts.
The lyrics which on "Fear Your Mind" are spit out with a Misfits like drama, are still very catchy and well syncopated over driving punk chug. The punk elements were more in your face on their past work, but do explode out on the choruses here. However the maturity in song writing broadens the melodic landscape, which is still rather ominous like there's an alien invasion looming in the skies above.
There's a heavier dash of surf rock in the guitar tone to " Love in a Cold World." The song is propelled by the bass and drums, while the vocals take on a more desperate plead. This vibe carries over into "Surf the Apocalypse" though they hit more of a punker take on Interpol . The album takes a darker turn to close on the melodic creep of "Strange Attractors" which tip toes around the same graves as "Porngography" era Cure.
Overall this album is without flaw and is highly recommended to fans of brooding post-punk, goth new wave , what ever sub-genre you are looking to hang your cape or combat boots on whatever the case my be. It takes no second thoughts for me to rate this album a 10 as it has already gotten almost constant spins since I got it. Look forward to catching these guys live.