This French duo comprised of Gwenole B. and Sebastian B. got their start in 2000. They later released their self-produced demo album Blown Away in 2001 and soon followed with Why Not. In 2005 they finally got their break by signing with Black Flames Records for the release of their official debut album Native ['neitiv].
The band members grew up listening to New Wave greats and subsequently have gleaned most of their influence from these bands. The most notable in their music are the similarities to Depeche Mode circa their Ultra and Songs of Faith and Devotion years when they started including more guitars in their music. The band points out that they use few samples and try to create music that is all their own including live drums.
All of this should interest various Synthpop and New Wave fans that long for this type of music. You can hear selections on the Gothic Paradise radio shows, so have a listen.
Native ['neitiv] - Review
When I first heard this group I thought it was nice to have another band that fell into the genres similar to Depeche Mode, but the more I listened the more I began to realize this duo was sounding more like a copy of these legendary artists. This isn't all bad and for fans that would like to hear more music exactly like DM from their post-Violator years, then this album is a good addition to their collection. But for those that want to hear unique compositions of music within these genres, then there may be a bit of disappointment here.
This band hails from France, yet they don't sing a word on the album in french! And their english needs quite a bit of work too as the accent makes much of the album very hard to understand and hard to listen to. "Blindness" kicks off the album and we're thrown right into the fray of this band's music. The first impression isn't very positive with the overbearing snare drum on this track mixed with the synths that sound like they're right out of the DM Ultra album. Luckily not every track is a blatant rip-off track, "Fake" seems to be a bit more original, but the listener still has to deal with the singer's very strong accent. "Underground" continues to move along in much the same way as previous tracks, the good thing is they beef up the electronics a little and cut back on the obnoxious snare for something a bit more enjoyable.
As the album progresses, it seems the quality of the music does to a certain extent. "Square" is a track that's a little easier to swallow, but still follows that style and sound we're already familiar with from previous greats. The instrumental track "I Dream Inside You" leaves a lot to be desired as it sounds more like a mix gone bad and as such is better just skipped. After that short break we're right back in the thick of the same old sound of this album with "I Don't Feel A Thing". A few more tracks of this and we're brought to the final piece on the album "Blown Away" which doesn't vary mcuh from anything else on the album making it all very homogenous.
So there you have it in a nutshell. If you don't mind the blatent copycat image, the harsh accent and often obnoxious snare drum in the percussion, then everything else falls right into place in the popular new wave and synthpop genres.