ARTIST: Philosopher's Point
LABEL: Lukotyk Records
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
Philosopher's Point can't quite seem to decide if they want to play synthpop, industrial, or good old-fashioned rock 'n' roll, but the German group's second full-length manages to be a mostly successful blend of all three. Opening track "Liquidation of Mind" seems to place the band in the center of the synthpop category, thanks to bouncing electronic beats and vocal affectations that borrow liberally from Marc Almond's early work in Soft Cell, but the dark disco vibe is undercut by squealing electric guitar. The thematically paired "Masochismus" and "Sadismus" each start off as German electronic minimalism, like Kraftwerk gone kinky, but both launch into danceable but guitar-driven rock anthems that resemble a lighter, less politically burdened version of latter-day KMFDM or Die Krupps. Philosopher's Point are best when they retain a relatively firm grasp on the more pop-flavored aspects of their sound; this album's most aggressive industrial offering, "Mr. Clean," is also its worst song, with a preachy anti-drug message sent veering off-point by egregious pronunciations and singing that's not so much off-key so much as never really settling on a particular key to begin with. On the other hand, the group's cover of Erasure's "When I Needed You" is sweet and sentimental in the best sense, with dreamy guitar strums, fuzzy vocals, and gently bubbling electronics that capture the mood of the original while retaining Philosopher's Point's own unique blend of rock and electro. This album isn't perfect, by any means, and its disparate genres collide clumsily as often as they blend smoothly, but Philosopher's Point have created a sound distinct enough from formulaic industrial and synthpop to deserve praise even when it doesn't entirely succeed.
Visit Philosopher's Point online at www.philosopherspoint.de for more information.
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