Spanish act Return Without Gosub creates music with the now-familiar conceits every EBM fan knows, but they manage to create a surprising variety of songs from simple arrangements of drum patterns, analog keyboard lines, and the occasional piano and string samples. They claim Nitzer Ebb as an influence, and it’s immediately apparent from the echoing vocals on “Sheroine,” the first track. This isn’t all shouting and delay pedals, though. Lead singer Jose Manuel Gonzalez actually has quite a decent set of pipes, and he puts them to good use on the synthpop love song “Overside” and the dark but funky “Pleasure Day.” Guitars also make the occasional appearance, adding edginess to “Embryo State” and jagged melody to “Lying Girl.” Though most of this CD is solidly rooted in traditional EBM, there is more than enough moody atmosphere to please fans on the more gothic end of the spectrum. Title track “The Dawn” is full of ethereal strings and a gorgeous minor-key piano outro, while “Far Away” uses spooky keyboards and whispered vocals for a funereal feel. “Vampire” stands out with sampled Hindi chanting and darkwave atmospheres, while “Obsession” sounds like a crunchier, more industrialized rendition of Depeche Mode’s “World In My Eyes.” Return Without Gosub don’t bother with drum ‘n’ bass, psychedelic trance, or whatever else is trendy in the dark electronic scene these days, showing that there’s still plenty of life left in old-school EBM. Despite a name only an aging computer geek could love, they’re definitely programmed to make an impact.
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