This eponymous release is the debut album from the fast-rising LA based duo consisting of Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin. Warfield has previously performed with the Chemical Brothers and Bomb The Bass whilst Bravin is a hip hop DJ who has worked with Dr Dre and The Alkaholiks, although anyone trying to draw an analogy from this is going to be in for a serious shock. This is another prime slice of 80s revival.
With its pounding guitars and endemic synthesisers this is a real piece of post-punk disco. Warfield’s vocals draw immediate comparison with Interpol and Joy Division and you can easily see the influences of The Cure, Bauhaus and David Bowie across the board, although on some of the tracks you half expect them to morph into The Sisters of Mercy and break into Temple of Love. It won’t come as a great surprise to the listener that they’ve previously been the opening act for Depeche Mode.
As regards the tunes themselves there are some real treats on this album, and lot of them do have a gloomy hardness to them. Red Flags and Long Nights is an addictive little number and These Things is straight out of the 80s with some serious sexual innuendo going on.
Out Of Control and I Don’t Wanna Fall in Love, in all their angular splendour, have all the traits of serious club anthems in the making. Monologue and Sister are the obligatory dark refrains that no album of this genre would be complete without, only with an added sado-masochism twist. The entirely instrumental Disconnect, with its falling rain background, manages to evoke a heart-wrenching poignancy.
It seems a bit strange that Tear You Apart has been chosen as the first single, as some of the other tracks are better. Cynics among you might conclude that it’s because it’s the only one that requires the parental advisory sticker. Alternatively, you might argue that it’s just that there’s no a great deal to choose between the tracks. None of them are bad, it’s just that they’re all very much in the same vein. If you weren’t paying attention you could easily lose track of where one finished and other began.
There’s not really a great deal else to say. If you remember the 80s then you’ll know exactly what to expect from this. If you only know it from the revival you’ve almost certainly bought a lot of the original stuff anyway. However, asking the music industry not to look backwards is like asking Hollywood not to remake classics.
Everyone draws from what they know when they create something new, and a primary source is what they grew up with. Fortunately for Warfield and Bravin they have done a much better job than a lot of their contemporaries.