Friday, July 12, 2019
Drab Majesty : "Modern Mirror"
The odd duo's 3rd album finds them continuing to mature. Their songs draw you in even further as they have expanded their sonic range while staying true to the foundation of their sound. There is a more Cure like mood, that is layered with futuristic synths that are also analog and retro at the same time. The more retro synth gain dominance along side the 80s new wave feel of " the Other Side". I think the urgency of the vocals is what works for me. Though it is not as impressive as the album's opener. The vocals stay moody, even when the music behind them is more upbeat and almost like Roxy Music. I prefer the darker sound of "Noise of the Void". This also touches on a more Cure like guitar sound. "Dolls In the Dark" hovers around the middle road between dark wave and new wave. Flirting with both but committing to neither.
Dynamics are the name of the game. They are the Holy Grail this project needs to tap into in order to sperate themselves from the other acts like this that hover between dark wave and new wave. I think it is the indie rock culture they comes from that keeps them from engulfing themselves in the melodrama of dark wave. There is a more shoe gaze feel to the guitar of "Long Division" and the singer from No Joy lends her voice to some vocal that layer the song. That is not the end of the shoe gaze sounds to glaze this albums . The guitar on the last song invokes the same feeling. When the song kicks in it is however more uptempo and poppy. It works for what they do. I am not sure I would say it goes above and beyond and wows me in any way like the first song.
They have taken a step forward. I am not sure this breaks them through to a larger audience . I think they earned that from touring behind the last album, but it certainly puts them on the same tier as Cold Cave. I will give this album a 9. There are some spots where things begin to sound the same, but the groove and mood of the album keep it going.