We Defy Oblivion - Review
Each time we're initially introduced to a new artist with their debut album it is always a pleasure to see how the band emerges and grows from that initial release to each subsequent work.
Do they have what it takes to step beyond that initial record? Do they have enough creativity to produce something new, yet founded on their initial sound that attracted fans in the first place? Those are the questions we ask with each follow-up album and here we have the sophomore work from this talented duo. They build on that solid foundation of hard-hitting electro-pop music with heavy beats and staccato synths all pounding along creating a heavy, moving rhythm. They come out aggressive and in your face with their music and thought-provoking lyrics exploring various themes from the simple elements of love to the controversial and revolutionary realms of religion and politics. Expressing frustration and anger, yet also trying to lift and inspire their listeners in meaningful ways. All of this packed into an album spanning ten tracks and about 45 minutes.
The driving beats kick off right from the beginning and hits heavy and hard from one track to the next. To delve into each piece in details would be an exercise in futility as each piece is so thick with layers, not just in the music but also in the lyrical content all belted out with Leslie's powerful vocals. A few favorites that stand out start right from the beginning with "Deconstructing". This piece borrows heavily from the powerful EBM styles of the 80's and 90's yet includes their own signature sound with the grinding guitars adding a nice depth to the music along with the melodic vocals as the backing male vocals add a nice accented punctuation to it all. This template is used heavily with slight variations which keeps the music and album interesting and holding the listener's attention well. As the album moves on we're presented with another favorite piece with "Knock Us Down" which stands as a powerful anthem for the rising generation. The syncopated rhythm and layered synths provide some nice hooks that keep the body moving wherever you might be listening, from the dizzying dancefloor, to the seat of a car cruising down the freeway. The heavy pulsating electronics and grinding guitars build again on "Depths of Hell" to create another powerful piece that helps carry the thought-provoking lyrics straight to the listener's soul. This gives way to a more melodic piece in the form of "Burn This City". The soaring synths take center stage on this piece while the heavy layers of guitars and synths provide a deep foundation and backdrop to the equally powerful and melodic vocals. These elements are what The Sweetest Condition
are made of and again and again on the pieces on this album they come out hard and strong, unrelenting and powerful.
Overall it's a great album. For those that enjoy the synthie electro-pop with an edge, and also with a heavy dose of fiery thought-provoking lyrics, this is a great album to pick up.
Edge of the World - Review
This duo hailing from Nashville, Tennessee brings their talents and experience in the underground music scene together for the release of this powerful electro-pop album.
Comprised of members Leslie Benson and Jason Milner, this project creates a nice brand of electro-pop music with moving beats and dynamic synths. This album spans eleven tracks of this dance-friendly music with more than a few excellent selections that have become favorites here on Gothic Paradise.
"Beyond the Blue" kicks it all off with a nice taste of the powerful electro-pop style we can enjoy from this band. This track stands out with a catchy rhythm and dynamic shift between verse and chorus as the moving electronic loops give way to powerful synth layers as Leslie's vocals carry the lyrics deep into the listener's heart. The pounding beats keep the body moving, the rhythm fresh and music interesting and fun to enjoy under various moods and circumstances. This pattern remains the standard throughout much of the album. Favorites stand out including this introductory piece as a definite inclusion in that list. While the entire album is noteworthy, other selections that stand out as catchy selections includes "Fall In Line". The captivating synths and moving beats provide the backdrop as the lyrics portrayed by the strong female vocals stand as a banner to stand strong and take responsibility for your own actions. This is a message that so many need to hear, and what better way than with a catchy, moving danceable rhythm?
The music keeps the body moving over the dynamic soundscapes from one piece to the next. "Miles Away" is a nice upbeat piece and another stand-out piece. "Now" turns up the intensity a bit and "Secret" keeps it all moving before giving way to "The War Is Over". This latter track breaks the mold a bit while at first appearing to be something of a mid-tempo piece, we soon experience the powerful intensity and shift in the mood as we build to a powerful climax on this piece with grinding guitar over the various layered electronic loops and synth structures. "This Poison" moves along in a sort of mid-tempo structure before giving way to the catchy syncopated beats of "Try" which is a nice favorite as we approach the last few selections on the album. "Watch You Fall" builds on this structure with more intensity with heavy, pulsating and grinding synths and guitars building a solid and heavy foundation to this moving piece. At this point we come to the final piece "Without You". Again we experience a bipolar mood of somber, mid-tempo elements that give way to pounding beats, intense synths and vocals for a powerful ending to a great album.
While maybe not the most innovative album of the decade, this is really a solid piece of work. Solid electro-pop elements really make this a great work for fans of The Azoic
and The Razor Skyline