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J
[ Jack Or Jive - Kakugo ]
[ James D. Stark - Music of the Night ]
[ James D. Stark - Dying Beauty ]
[ James D. Stark - Fortress of Solitude ]
[ Jill Tracy - Silver Smoke, Star of Night ]
[ John Alexander Ericson - Black Clockworks ]
[ Junk Circuit - Universal Republic ]
K
[ KatzKab - Objet No. 1 ]
[ Kobe - Economy Of Movement ]
[ Kokila - Enchanted Dreams ]
[ Kooper Kain - Turning Cities To Salt ]
[ Kutna Hora - Obsession, Faith, Perseverance ]
L
[ La Floa Maldita - Salut Jacques ]
[ Lacrimosa - Sehnsucht ]
[ Lamia - Dark Angel ]
[ Last Dance, The - Now and Forever After ]
[ Last Dance, The - Once Beautiful ]
[ Last Dance, The - Reflections of Rage ]
[ Last Dance, The - Whispers in Rage ]
[ Last Hour, The - The Last Hour ]
[ Legend - Fearless ]
[ Leiahdorus - Parallel Universe ]
[ Les Anges de la Nuit - Ruins of Victory ]
[ Libitina - Parhelion ]
[ Libitina - Reflections & Refractions ]
[ Libitina - The Shadowline ]
[ Liquid Divine - Interface ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Quershnitt ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Krieg Gegen Die Maschinen ]
[ Lights of Euphoria - Fading Moments EP ]
[ Lisa Hammer - Dakini ]
[ Lost Patrol, The - Driven ]
[ Lost Patrol, The - Rocket Surgery ]
[ Love In Prague - Ghost Note ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Tempest ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Time ]
[ Love Is Colder Than Death - Eclipse ]
[ Longing for Orpheus - Somnia ]
[ Lovespirals - Future Past ]
[ Lovespirals - Windblown Kiss ]
[ Lucaifem - Lucaifem ]
[ Luigi Rubino - A Theme For The Moon ]
[ Lunascape - Innerside ]
[ Lunascape - Reminiscence ]
[ Lunascape - Mindstalking ]
[ Lupercalia - Florilegium ]
[ Lux Interna - a lantern carried in blood and skin ]
Universal Republic - Review

This band caught me totally by surprise with this release. While their overall style falls easily in line with others from the A Different Drum label, I guess I just didn't expect the way they delve into the gothic sounds of the 80's. The bass and guitar used on several tracks really goes back to the sounds of Joy Division and Bauhaus, they even do a cover of "Bela Lugosi's Dead". But at the same time there are excellent synthpop hooks and other elements that you might find in the later Depeche Mode works where the guitar has a more prominent place.

"World Citizen" kicks off the album with this prominent guitar-heavy sound with that solid bass that hints back to the gothic sound.  An added touch is the inclusion of female vocals on different verses and as backing vocals on this and other pieces.  This band just keeps throwing twists and turns at the listeners as we jump into "High Society" where Sondrine takes over the vocals and makes this track start to sound a lot like The Pretenders.  The electronics take a more prominent role but the guitars remain in force for an excellent sound on this piece and they all provide a great backdrop for the melodic and often harmonized vocals.

As the album moves along so does the musical style vary from guitar-laiden post-punk and modern rock sound to the newer synthpop sound using more synths and electronic loops.  "Inferior World" takes on this latter sound and remains a fun and catchy track using many analog synth sounds for fans of 80's and modern music to really enjoy.  We take a different twist with the mid-tempo piece "Ghosts" which is really hard to classify other than it moves smoothly along in a languishing groove for a nice break from the upbeat pieces that dominate most of the album.  This is quickly dismissed with "Devils Own", again delving into the moodier sounds with some great guitar hooks.  This is the piece that really brings out the latest Depeche Mode influence in the music, but remains solid in the goth world with the deeper vocals that are used along with the edgy sound and lyrics.

Now that we're halfway through the album it's obvious that this album and group has some great potential outside of just the synthpop scene, but they manage to cross genre lines to be attractive to the new dark alternative sound, the black-clad goths should enjoy it as much as any synth junky.  Each track continues to delve into so many arenas from the less intense, yet solid "Heart of Stone" to the modern rock, female fronted twists in "Life On My Own" or "Darklight" with it's breakbeats.

The solid foundation for this group lies in being rooted in the excellent music of the 80's while branching out into all the different arenas like the music did then and has evolved since then.  This provides the dynamics that will allow this group to grow and change with the times.  This is an excellent album worth picking up, so don't miss it, no matter what your tastes... if you listen to or enjoy any upbeat music on Gothic Paradise, this group is accessible and enjoyable.

Rating: 4/5


Website: www.junkcircuit.com
Label: A Different Drum

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