Sunday, October 16, 2022

Gothtober- Vandal Moon :" Queen of the Night"

If asked what the difference between post-punk and darkwave is, once we got past the obvious answer which is post-punk uses more organic punk like instrumentation, the next most logical explanation is post-punk works off tension where dark wave is all about the melodrama. This band falls solidly on dark wave, judging from the first track, the overly emotive baritone croon on the title track, helps to solidify their place as dark wave. I have noticed that many dark wave bands are switching over to more synth wave like synth sounds. Even with the Eurythmics like cadence to the verses "Sweet Disaster" does not slap as hard as the first two songs. 

The band states that this is a concept album about how hard it must be to grow up as a young person in today's world. This sounds like a marketing scheme to me, as I am not getting that feel from the songs at all. The bass line to "Chemical Love" moves it into a more organic direction that has more in common with the Psychedelic Furs. It was a needed dynamic shift. "Sunlight" is a dense bat cave anthem that rings out in the cavernous echo of night. The melody of the vocals is obscured in the mix.  "Laughing Like a Clown" meanders in similar shadows as the previous song. They find a better groove for the new wave tinged "Easy to Dream". The vocals are more emotional and bring the Cure to mind. There is a smokier groove to " Too High to Cry". It is catchy enough for me. 

"War" offers a better vocal performance, but the song itself is not as focused and works off a singular dynamic. The is a more simplistic pulse that "Kiss Me Goodbye" works off of. "Diamonds 7 Pearls " is not a cover of the Prince song, but it is very 80s thanks to the sax solos that pushes it in the 80s fetish direction that synth wave like to flirt with. I like the fact they add new colors of sound here. The last song feels more like Love & Rockets, jamming with Billy Idol. I will give this album a 9, it haunts it's own dark corner of the genre , even with their eyes sometimes following the direction certain bandwagons might be going.   

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