Thursday, April 2, 2015

Captive : "Black Leather Glove"

If this goth revival has taught us anything it's DIY dark wave should always be held with suspicion . Think about what qualities classic dark wave has. The beats are powerful. Maybe not as powerful as industrial, but have more behind them in the mix than a drum setting on a casio keyboard. The Cure got away with some lo-fi sounds and judging from the vocals that is an influence on this project. But can they carry the whole shebang here ?

The title track is the reason the album cover looks like the original version of Spinal Tap's "Smell the Glove" album. Has a better guitar pattern, but the bass takes more of a back seat and the drum machine becomes buried. So the mix is the main struggle of the album. The vocal patterns and what I can make out of the lyrics I like making this a mixed bag.

O.k take the kick to "The Fool" and boost it a bit guys and you got it. Since guitars take more of a role in this than most darkwave it's ok to let the snyths fade into the background a bit. the vocals sound great here this is the first song all the pieces fit so now we know they are capable of sounding good when they sets their sights to it. You get my attention by naming a song "Love is the Law" or giving any winks to Thelema, even if they are just a piece of dark pop culture they picked up in passing. The song gets the job done though not esoteric.

They capture some great sounds again on "I'm Long Gone though the songwriting isn't as keen as some of the album's previous moments. The pace picks up on "Exaltations"  and the lead singer's voice takes on a more Rozz Williams like quality to it's fine whine. The music grows murkier, but this is mostly forgivable.  There is an improvement in dynamics on "The Maze" . The dramatic vocals get the elegance most miss out on when it comes to recapturing what makes goth ....gothic. The bass pounds "the Staircase" into a more Pornography era Cure-like place, if the drum machine would only keep up. "Coming Home" fires is blips and bleeps off into the sea of cold wave this album has established , but the inclusion of female vocals really gives things a much needed shift, even if it brings with it more of a skip in their step.

They close out the album with driving synth pulse of "Endless Lust". The intensity picks up. Not really a hook driven song or one that is likely to get caught in your head anytime soon, but for what it is this song works. Can't make up my mind if I would rather hunt down some darkwave from back in the day or toss this on the iPod, fans of this sub-genre might embrace this album with more opens arms , I don't dislike it in fact it got much better the further it was delved into, so I will give it an 8.5.

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