CD title: Just Like Mine (Digital Edition)
Label: Ionium Records
Genre: Synthpop, Wave-Pop
Reviewer: DJ Kantrip
Buy Here: http://davos.bandcamp.com/
Just Like Mine is the 2007 debut release from the Viennese Synthpop act, dAVOS. This re-release of their first LP also contains 3 songs off a previously released EP. Just Like Mine was the band's first full-length album after dAVOS had already gathered a large following from 3 previous EP releases. With a new full-length album about to be released in August of 2011, this is a good opportunity to go back and hear just how dAVOS got started.
Musically dAVOS has everything in a synthpop band that this reviewer likes. Guitars and live drums bring added life to the synthesizers and programming, which is surprising to hear on a debut full-length. From my experience, most electronic bands in the Dark Alternative genres go two or three albums before experimenting with added instrumentation. Just Like Mine has an undeniably mellow feel to it, which makes it fit well with bands like Mesh, De/Vision, or even Iris in a DJ set. The sorrow-filled vocals combined with guitar work also allows this CD to fit in nicely with a Goth/Darkwave playlist. When I listen to dAVOS, I'm reminded of the Darkwave acts that came from Nightbreed Records in the late 90's, which all tried to sound super gothy but had elaborate pop/techno soundtracks betraying the sad and tortured stories that the lyrics were spelling out.
Eric Nelsen's singing accurately conveys the desperation, pain, and heartache that lie in the lyrics, however his range is rather limited. On Songs like I Start Mourning or See Clear, he audibly strains to hold a note or sing in higher or lower octaves. Strangely this fits the album well. There seems to be a limit that the vocals are trying to break past but can't quite make it. Meanwhile the music is jubilant, colorful and free sounding. This conflict perfectly expresses the thin line that divides hope and sorrow that the album bounces between. After listening to the samples for the upcoming Tender Loving Care album, it's clear that Nelsen has improved his vocal prowess, so my complaints with Just Like Mine are very minor.
I highly recommend dAVOS to anyone out there looking for a new synthpop band to add to your playlists that isn't totally club-centric in their approach, or if you want something that is electro-goth without being terribly gothy. Go check them out on their band camp page or website to hear more!
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