Music Reviews

DEATHBOY: End Of An Error

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 08 2007
Title: End Of An Error
Format: CD
Label: Line Out Records (@)
Rated: *****
Presented as a "futurepunk" band, Deathboy just released their second full length titled END OF AN ERROR. It contains eleven tracks of high energetic electronic punk with few e.b.m. influences. The first two tracks ("Amphetamine zoo" and " "Black morning") are sounding like a good indie band using electronic gear. This could be good if you are looking for tracks based on simple melodies and good production (Rico and John Fryer did the work) but usually I want something more. Fortunately this comes with "Money and confidence", a track that pays a tribute to Cure but with a certain personality. Basically the sound of the band is balanced between their dark and their melodic soul with some industrial influence a la N.I.N. (check "Smile you fuckers") and modern pop punk or good old 77 punk (like on "Cheap shot"). They could give you some good tunes like the two I mentioned and like "Something" where the mixture finds a perfect balance. It won't be a surprise if a day I'll see one of their videos on MTV but I'd rather prefer to see them than the next teen rebel.

Screaming For Emily: Malice

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Jan 04 2007
Artist: Screaming For Emily (@)
Title: Malice
Format: CD
Label: North End Records
Rated: *****
This intriguing cd grew on me faster than a speeding bullet. New Jersey based Screaming For Emily incorporates elements of new wave and darkwave. Their music is a reminiscence of the 80's with such influences as Depeche Mode, The Cure, Clan of Xymox, Echo & The Bunnymen, Sisters of Mercy, Bauhaus, Joy Division, New Order, and Sad Lovers & Giants. Similar pretty sounds to other 80's acts as well have the best effect, but Screaming For Emily possess their own charm. The band is made up of three guys who are not really new to the music scene. SFE got their first start back in the 80's and also had released their very first self-titled record. The band is consists of Lance Redaelli-drums & percussion; Phillip Sciortino, Jr.-vocals & keyboards; and Steven Baillie-keyboards. Their second release "Malice" will open the portholes of the soul. The passionate and ethereal male vocals, the dreamy soft and warm synth sounds and the guitar and bass strumming gently with a beautiful compassionate lush feel and the pulsating beat from the drum will make you want to dance. Outstanding tracks are "Thorn", "Intent", "Purgatory Embrace", "A Dry Year", and the cool smashing catchy single hit "Deity". Check out the video for that track on their websites. These compositions are full of beauty and create a brightness color in Screaming For Emily. Crafted production lends to the lavish sound of "Malice".

Tears For Fears: The Very Best Of

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 29 2006
Artist: Tears For Fears
Title: The Very Best Of
Format: CD
Label: Mercury (Island)
Rated: *****
I'll never forget the very first time I heard of Tears For Fears is when I saw their video "Change" on MTV. Then later, their video "Pale Shelter". Both off their first 1983 release "The Hurting". TFF will always be remembered for their writing of psychological explorations dealing with emotional feeling songs. Major label Mercury released a cd compilation of all their greatest single hits from 1982-1992. Like most bands from the 80's, they used synthesizers and a drum machine that had that cold and eerie feel. Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, who both met at the age of 13 came from unhappy homes. The addition to their troubled adolescence, they shared a love of music. In 1985, the English duo released their best selling record that invaded America's Billboard charts and radio stations "Songs From The Big Chair", which sold over ten million copies worldwide. Their climbing top number one singles "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", "Shout", and who can forget that video they shot in the library for the song "Head Over Heels" became a money making commercial huge success. 1989 rolled around, they released their third album titled "The Seeds Of Love" that feature the singles "Sowing The Seeds" that have a Beatles feel and "Woman In Chains", a duet with R&B singer Oleta Adams, who Roland discovered at a club in Kansas City performing and was a struggling artist who was trying to make it in the music industry. "Advice For The Young At Heart" became the third single which shows off Curt Smith's best vocal talent. Curt left the band following the world tour. Then later released a solo album. Roland carried on as solo with the group's name and released "Elemental" in 1993 that feature "Break It Down Again" and "Goodnight Song". Both tracks lyrically deals with the break up of Roland and Curt. TFF also appeared on a Hollywood movie soundtrack "Threesome" featuring the song "New Star".

Other non-album and singles that was release are included on disc are "Mother's Talk (US Remix" and "The Way You Are". "Suffer The Children" which also appears on "The Hurting" album is the fourth track on disc along with the well known dark single "Mad World" that reached number 3 on the UK charts, which starts the disc off as being the first track. The album "The Hurting" is known to have gothic elements. The single "Mad World" have that cold and darkening synth feel. "Laid So Low" was the only original release as a single in 1992 on the very first BEST OF TEARS FOR FEARS album. The final single "I Believe (A Soulful Re-Recording)" is a jazzy tune.

2000 was the year that Roland and Curt got back together again as a band duo who now have the same musical vision. They may have had a bitter sweet musical divorce and haven't spoken to each other in a decade, but the two manage to sought out their problems and move on forward together as they originally were in the past. The duo now have a new release called "Everybody Loves A Happy Ending". Their first two early releases "The Hurting" and "Songs From The Big Chair" will always be a memorable time classic. Otherwise, this collection of their 80's and early 90's singles are the enduring of their best years.

80TH DISORDER: Transform

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 27 2006
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Artist: 80TH DISORDER (@)
Title: Transform
Format: MCD (Mini CD)
Label: Melotrik (@)
Rated: *****
Coming from Oulu, Finland, 80th Disorder is a band that born as an electronic combo and that changed just to turn into the four people indie/new wave influenced band. The four tracks contained into their debut MCD show a certain link with the '80s (mainly with the new wave/post punk movement) and with the 90's thanks to their tracks always in balance between the indie sound of Suede or Radiohead. Each of the four tracks have a different flavor and if "Desolate journey" seems a modern version of Southern Death Cult mixed with a good theatrical approach (this is the tune I preferred), the closing "Death in Venice" is sounding like the soul breaking Joy Division tunes (sort of). "Symphaty one" recalls me a little bit the Gene Loves Jezebel atmospheres but without the vocal gurgling. Also the opening "Transform" is a good tune and if you are into indie wave check this band, it could be a pleasant surprise.

Switchblade Symphony: Serpentine Gallery (Deluxe Edition Double Disc)

 Posted by Donovan Tate (@)   Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Dec 26 2006
Artist: Switchblade Symphony
Title: Serpentine Gallery (Deluxe Edition Double Disc)
Format: CD
Label: Cleopatra
Rated: *****
The beautiful Goth female duo Tina Root and Susan Wallace will always be remembered for being one of the finest gothic underground acts in Gothic Subculture history. SS has been on numerous of compilations, released two cassette albums and one cd on their own. The talented femmes got signed with Cleopatra Records quickly. Their first release with the label became a huge success best selling record in 1995. Now ten years later, the label re-released this classic dark album as a double disc deluxe edition. The first disc contains all eleven original songs when it was release. The second disc contains some tracks from their self release cassette albums "Fable" and "Elegy". And demo tracks from the self release cd "Scrapbook". Unheard unreleased tracks are included as well, which was recorded during their recording for "The Three Calamities" studio session. There are two tracks from their live concert shows, an radio interview, and an enhanced feature video for "Clown" you can download and watch on your computer. A collector item to have that's worth the money. Switchblade Symphony has inspired many fans with their music and glitter glamour style little girlish look. The gothic beauties made have broken up because of music differences, but their music is not forgotten.

Disc 1

1. Bad Trash
2. Dissolve
3. Wallflower
4. Wrecking Yard
5. Clown
6. Cocoon
7. Dollhouse
8. Sweet
9. Gutter Glitter
10. Mine Eyes
11. Bloody Kisses

Disc 2

1. Waiting Room
2. Chain
3. Rain
4. Numb
5. Ride
6. Novocaine
7. Wrecking Yard
8. Sweet (Burning Mix)
9. Blue
10. Live 105 Radio Interview
11. Clown (Video)

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