Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Privacy//Policy : "This is Our Mandate"

The trend in the post-punk revival is you either cop the sound of Joy Division or Siouxsie, if you are creative enough sometimes both. It could be argued this Cleveland band as picked the Joy Division side. They do capture the taunt cold tension of Ian and the boys, but they also stir the sonic soup with a few more spices. Killing Joke being one of the more notable. They snuck a pretty impressive album in under the radar back in June.

The bass sound is dialed in, the vocal performance more nuanced than Ian Curtis karaoke many bands seem to play. Their guitar tone is a thick any two indie goth bands of the week put together. The production is dirty , but in all the right ways. Over driven around the edges to roughen it up and add balls instead of hiding behind re-verb so thick the sound loosens.

From a song writing perspective they know where to put the hooks and punches. Compositions are simplistic in the punk rock manner this music sprang from. Not unlike the Estranged on songs like "Time" they are not afraid to add a more rock n roll element, or even surf rock for that matter. It's on time that I also begin to hear a little Love and Rockets creep.

They know how to use their effects well, they could easily cop the Robert Smith trademark sound, but instead they mix all their influences together to create something that is familiar, but not borrowed. They even jump into a more New Order like new wave on "Whole". Though they do so without the use of synths. The swing to the melody recalls Modern English's "I'd Stop the World to Melt With You." This direction doesn't sound as inspired when they go for a similar vibe on "Waiting For the End" the vocals remind me of Brett Michaels for some reason.

They get a little more upbeat and punk rock than I prefer on "Total Control" which has a too much booty shaking for me. This song is also one of the more rock n roll moments the two just oddly collide. "Drive" puts this more rock leaning into better use. It is also the first song where I hear a noticeable Cult influence. The rock god screams are very Billy Idol as well. These guys have 80's night covered all the way around.

The first song with a noticeable keyboards in it is "Rtul", the organ is supplied by their bassist. The guitar sound in this song is pretty close to perfect as well. I was not prepared for this song to be an instrumental, as they are by no means a prog band, but they pull it off, grooving at times on a drone driven pound.

The groove to the closer " In the City" hits like a more punk rock version of Jane's Addiction's "Mountain Song".  The pinnacle of the Ian Curtis worship surfaces here as well. They had gotten away with the entire album with out, and even when it comes there are still some Stooges like screams thrown in for good measure.

I'll give this one an 8 and see where it grow on me from here. The more dancey numbers killed the vibe for me when they went back to that well one too many times, but over all the album is a lot of fun and you should check it out below if you are into this sort of thing.

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