Wednesday, 25th April 2018. 6:28:30am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic You Shriek- Unreal Cities


Artist: You Shriek
CD Title: Unreal Cities
Label: self-released
Reviewer: Joshua Heinrich
Date: 12/20/05

After a decade in the scene, You Shriek are back with their second full-length release, Unreal Cities, the slightly overdue follow-up to 1996's Burn Something Dear. Originally released in 2002 and compiling three years of work, Unreal Cities finds the 3-piece ripping and plodding through a diverse array of material that blends synthpop, alternative, goth rock, ethereal and industrial influences into a stylistically inconsistent yet oddly cohesive 12-song set.

Pointing out the band's diversity and versatility here would be something of an understatement. Running the gamut from a fairly straightforward cover of The Police classic "Invisible Sun" to the Disintegration-era Cure-ish moody rock of "Slowly, Lower" to the Apoptygma Berzerk-esque club tracks "New Romantic Circuitry" and "Philosophers and Poets", the album is really all over the map. The standout "Je He Ris" dives into atmospheric retro synthpop territory, while "Why Should I Believe" travels even further down that road, almost evoking vintage Depeche Mode.

"Untitled (Heaven and Sorrow II)" (An untitled song with a subtitle? Hey, why not?) and the simple closer, "The Inevitable Dissent", fall squarely into the aforementioned moody Cure-esque rock category, while "Untitled #3 With Guitars" starts in a similar vein before exploding into an all-out distorted psychedelic rock jam. The moody melodic retro new wave of "Major Tom (Heard You Calling)" is more topical homage than musical cover, while the strong opener "Six Million Miles" features impressive melodic interplay between its lead and backing vocals. Rounding out the set, "Song for a Saturday" is a nice moody rock ballad.

While, on Unreal Cities, the band seems to suffer from mild multiple personality disorder, sometimes completely jumping genres every track or two, they manage to pull it all off fairly well, creating a coherent album that comes off more eclectic than disjointed. Creative and well produced, written, and performed, it's a bit of a rollercoaster ride, but one that's worth the price of admission.

 

You Shriek website: www.youshriek.com

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