Neuroticfish’s mixture of progressive trance, EBM stomp and melodic synthpop vocals is pretty hard to resist. The project’s latest release has everything from club hits like “Solid You” to such slower, more sensitive pieces as “Are You Alive?” Best of all, unlike other acts in the genre whose overwhelming sincerity can be wearying at times, Neuroticfish’s Sascha Mario Klein actually has a sense of humor, as evidenced by a cover of the Doctor Demento classic “They’re Coming To Take Me Away…” While Depeche Mode comparisons are inevitable – on “Bomb” Klein manages to sound like both David Gahan and Martin Gore within the confines of the same song – the vocals have a sort of raspy sweetness on “Why Don’t You Hate Me?” that’s more reminiscent of Peter Gabriel than Ronan Harris. String samples and synthesized choral effects add moodiness to “I Never Chose You” and “Ich Spüre Keinen Schmerz,” while “Waving Hands” has all the epic energy of VNV Nation without the overwrought philosophical references. “I Don’t Need the City” is a touching ballad, and the pianos and vocal harmonies of album closer “Suffocating Right” are, in a word, gorgeous. With just the right blend of emotional depth and lighthearted pop appeal, this album is just as good as – if not better than – the recent work from the scene’s heavy hitters; Apoptygma Berzerk and Covenant fans should especially enjoy this one.
Visit Sascha Mario Klein at www.neuroticfish.com.
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