ALBUM OF THE WEEK
The legendary American Dance-Pop group is back in full force. Look out Generation Xers! Fans of ElectroPop, Techno, and New Wave should be delighted by the newest release from Information Society.
While it covers a certain range of genres and styles but it always stays Information Society. The band has a certain recognizable sound especially when Robb is producing and Larson is singing.
This release gives us a “classic lineup”. That would be Kurt Larson, Paul Robb and James Cassidy. And to get the classic sound, add generic female back up singer. In the writing credits we see several Larson/Robb collaborations. There is also a cover of Devo, another favorite group at BangWave.
The album opens with a classic sounding track, “Land if the Blind”. The band is inviting everyone to WAKE UP and listen in! Then on to some eye-opening DubStep madness in “The Prize”. SynthPop Industrial roots are show in “Where Were You”. Lyrically to me it sounds like a re-tool of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” by the Temptations. Not an original concept but the song it catchy.
Next we “Get Back” with a very classic sounding InSoc track. We got the sizzily synthetic high-hats and a Latin tempo. It sounds like they were really trying to sound like they did on early albums. However the synth pads are a little too thick to sound like the song truly came from that period. The female backing vocals remind us of Amanda Kramer and/or Nocera.
It’s hard to believe that “Jonestown” was penned by only Paul Robb. It sounds like it could have been recorded for the Larson solo album, Don’t Be Afraid. This track is more of an album cut. “Dancing With Strangers” is the next track and it sounds like it could have been recorded for “Hack” but with a middle eastern and regaetone influence. The talk-rap-singing thing sounds a bit dated like 90s New Jack Swing crap but we’ll play along for one track.
When I heard they were doing a Devo cover, I got really excited. Information Society has done a great job on the covers they have done in the past. I am not sure what to say about this one. They took on the Devo classic “Beautiful World”. It sounds sped up and juvenile like it was intended to be used in a Pokemon video game. It’s cute but that’s about it. Sorry guys, it’s not a favorite on the album.
Moving on, “Creatures of Light and Darkness” sounds overproduced and forced. It reminds me a little of some work on HACK but it does not measure up. “Above and Below” is a charming Synthpop anthem in the style of perhaps Erasure. It should have been higher in the track list.
In “Let it Burn” they are sounding more like Depeche Mode. It’s the synth guitars that do it. The tempo is up a bit and the instrumentation is a bit airy or euro-mod sounding. “Tomorrow the World” sounds like a typical 80s pop-pop ballad sans guitar. This again seems to throw us back to the Hack album. Finally they close their album with some playful synth noise that reminds me of satellite telemetry. It’s another InSoc trademark move.
All in all it’s a great album that pretty much measures up to all of their other great LPs. This release is available for download, on CD, 12 inch Vinyl and even Cassette! Also, they are proving they can release commercial quality music without the help from major labels. Bravo for that too!
Track list (favorites in bold)
- Land of the Blind
- The Prize
- Where Were You
- Get Back
- Dancing With Strangers
- Beautiful World
- Creatures of Light and Darkness
- Above and Below
- Let It Burn
- Tomorrow the World
Clinical Cluby Cynical Detached Cold Refined Retro Stylish Dramatic Energetic Fun Nocturnal Quirky Nerdy Smart Moody Modern
[ review by Alex Velocity ]
UPDATE: InSoc has added a few concert dates: