Ventilation - Review
This band has quite a history dating back to 1981 and including success on the Billboard dance charts. The latest incarnation is pretty much solely a studio project of Tom and Julie Ferris.
This album marks the first studio album for them in ten years and is a great comeback for fans to enjoy. Their previous success in the clubs was marked with their club-friendly track "Suffer". This new album continues on with much of this same style and presents us with 13 of these powerful dance-friendly pieces.
This latest album is heavily based on electronic, dance-friendly, heavier industrial synthpop sounds featuring Julie's suave vocals. Nearly every piece features a moving beat that keeps the body moving, along with multiple layers of synth loops all providing the backdrop for Julie's vocals. It kicks off with the melodic piece "I Bend" which fans of "Suffer" should really latch onto and enjoy. The album from here becomes quite diverse despite being built on the solid edgier synthpop foundation. "Halt" features some heavy guitars and a harder industrial edge that hearkens back to the classic industrial sound that the band has built on over the years. Classic synthpop sounds from the 80's really come out in "If" and the variety continues with the softer mid-tempo piece "Escaping From America". All of this diversity showcases the various talents and styles that this band has experienced and produced over the years keeping the dancefloors moving and the fans happy.
Though the album as a whole is a great collective album, there are definitely some favorites here for my taste in the electronic genres. The previously mentioned track "I Bend" that kicks off the album for the reasons already listed. "Suffer" was a definite favorite from the past decade and this piece just seems to pick right up where they left off. The way they manage to pull of the heavier industrial elements on "Halt" and later on "Knee Deep", which at first you wouldn't expect as it slowly builds through dark ambience and experimental electronics and then kicks off with the heavier percussion and well-defined bassline. "Tear You Down" with it's haunting darker moods is a nice touch along with the edgier piece "Reflux". I think my overall favorite on the album is "Should Have Been Mine" with the more upbeat and melodic touches of a 90's synthpop style.
Overall this is a great album that was well worth the wait. A new classic from a band that's been around since the early 80's, the prime of great music, they've brought it all into the modern age of edgy synthpop with this great work.