Sunday, September 07, 2008

Review: The Dark Romantics - Heartbreaker

Label: Lujo Records

Released: September 9, 2008

In the early 80s, Wall of Voodoo made some dark, moody and strangely captivating music out of a peculiar meeting of post-punk, synth pop and the roots of rock n roll. On Heartbreaker, the Dark Romantics find themselves at the same point where these influences flow together and they make music that is deliberately at odds with itself, nervous, pleading vocals and trebly guitar or stark piano poking through smooth synth textures.

It is an album that comes together only to pull itself apart into an unsettled restlessness. "The Death of You" is part synth pop and part "Ghostriders in the Sky," like a post-Armageddon cowboy song. "Never Been Loved" is reminiscent of "Careless Whispers" (yeah, the Wham song) only with a tangible madness and even the slick disco of the chorus doesn't diminish its humanity. The album's darkness grows into the coldness of the title track which knocks on Nick Cave door to insanity.

These songs believe that joy exists, but only in someone else's world. They are love songs for the unloved, breakup songs for those with no one to break with. Heartbreaker is for the broken heart that never had the opportunity to fully love. The discord yearns for beauty in a way that is, as the band name itself explains, quite romantic and entirely dark.

"Hush Your Mouth" mp3

"Let's Ride" mp3

Satriani: 6/10
Zappa: 6/10
Dylan: 7/10
Aretha: 7/10
Overall: 7/10



If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

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Blogger Jocelyn Aucoin said...


4:03 PM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

I'm listening to "Let's Ride" on their MySpace site. The fact that I thought of four different "huh, they sound like ... " comparisons before the first chorus ended is a good sign. Usually, when I have that reaction to a band, it's a band that ends up having their own unique thing going on. Not sure if TDR are there yet, but they're certainly on the way.

8:58 PM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

I listened to more of it after leaving my last comment. This is good stuff!

2:40 PM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

Hmmm, it's been awhile since my previous comments. After listening to the whole album, I can truly say that Heartbreaker is as good as Sam's Town.

4:49 PM  

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