Monday, 26th June 2017. 1:19:29pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Synthpop, New Wave Stevedore- Almost Beautiful


Artist: Stevedore
CD Title: Almost Beautiful
Label: HardWork Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Date: 5/3/06

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At first listen, Stevedore are just another bouncy synthpop act with too many '80s records in their collection and not enough fresh ideas. Take a closer look at this single, though, and you'll find something special. Beyond the analog equipment, dance floor cheeriness, and occasional robot voice, there's a sense of catchy, melody-driven camp that has its roots in Depeche Mode's early days, when Vince Clarke was still in the band and they hadn't turned into a bunch of melancholy mopers. Beyond the irrepressible vocal harmonies on "Almost Beautiful," Stevedore also show a more conscious sense of sound than most of their contemporaries. Instead of just fiddling around with preset effects until they came across something that sounded a bit like New Order, Stevedore seem to have given a lot of thought to what synth effects to use in their songs, with the whooshing trills of "Tiny Thoughts" being a particularly good example. Once you notice these subtleties, seemingly over-the-top moments like the shouted refrain on "Pure Aggression" or the conspicuous Devo tribute of "We Are Stevedore" seem a lot less hackneyed and a lot more clever. Recommended for any and all synthpop fans. Pick this up now, and hope for a full-length album sooner rather than later.

Visit Stevedore on the Web at www.wearestevedore.com.


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