Sunday, May 29, 2016

Bootblacks : "veins"

This is new wave more than it's dark wave as it's largely coated in a sheen of plastic. The vocals of this Brooklyn based project stay in a baritone croon that reminded me more of Billy Idol on the first song then get a little less rock and a little more melodramatic on the second. The diligence to the 80s is both a blessing and a curse on this album. It's dialed back and the kind of emotion that made the 80s great  when it came to this kind of thing occurs and it makes you feel like you are in one of those John Hughes films. Sonically things get more interesting on "Drift" . They get into the groove like they've got to prove their love you to and the vocals coast on auto-pilot like less inspired dark wave, especially without the benefit of a big chorus to pop off from. There is a more old school sci-fi pulse to the almost dance floor ready "Always" that mixes Gary Numan with Modern English. Once again the chorus is more subtle and doesn't really pop off in big 80s fashion. I think that is the one thing keeping these guys from being a band a DJ could sneak into an 80s play list.

There is a darker more gothy tone to "Erosion". The guitar steps out in the mix. It almost carries an old U2 jangle. These guys are good setting the tone, but seem to have trouble knocking the home run when the bases are loaded. I am not a fan of being formulaic, but the formula here seems to be to under state the chorus. It's up beat, but "Sub" fails to really go anywhere. They are back to a more preferred darker place, this time bringing more of a rock dynamic to it. The synth riff is pretty cool, but the rule is cool riffs alone do not make a good song. That is not exclusive to guitar based music.  "Abc" follows a similar pattern that 'Low Fantasy" eventually breaks by uses more dynamics. It is one of the album's most aggressive songs carrying an almost industrial punch.

The album ends with "Decoy" which really owes a lot to Gary Numan. Going into this I had heard Depeche Mode's name thrown around in regards to these guys and I don't hear that at all. I'll give this album a 9 and see how it sits with me. They have potential, but ride a middle line between being droning yet melodic indie rock with a new wave slant and really committing to worship their idols from that decade.

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