Wednesday, 17th October 2018. 8:47:44pm ET
Reviews CD Reviews Alternative, Indie Rock Apoptygma Berzerk- Rocket Science


ARTIST: Apoptygma Berzerk

ALBUM: Rocket Science

LABEL: GUN Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 10-11-09

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Apoptygma Berzerk's new album leaves little doubt as to founder Stephan Groth's intent to turn the project from an EBM powerhouse into a guitar-backed alternative rock act. Proving that 2006's You and Me Against the World, a controversial album that enraged many fans but arguably represents Groth's best work, was no fluke, this album has less in common with Icon of Coil or VNV Nation than with The Bravery or even The Killers. While Rocket Science is not quite as arresting an album, due perhaps to the fact that the shock has worn off somewhat, it's still a solid collection of danceable alternative rock tunes, always serviceable, sometimes gorgeous. "Shadow" and "Black vs. White" represent the best of the bunch, the former an understated electronics-driven post-punk number with an infectious melody, the latter a gorgeous synthpop-oriented song featuring subtle but gorgeous vocals from Dresden Dolls singer Amanda Palmer. On the more rock-flavored end of the spectrum, "Pitch Black/Heat Death" hits hardest, though quiets down for a flute-backed bridge, and "Incompatible" starts off edgy but builds into a catchy sing-along anthem. Unfortunately, there are also a few missteps, like the perky keyboard-backed garage rock number "Apollo: Live on Your TV," which features the regrettable choice of Good Charlotte's Benji Madden as guest vocalist. Sample-based instrumental interludes "United States of Credit" and "Rocket Calculator" are also unnecessary, to put it kindly. Still, that still leaves nearly a dozen catchy rock 'n' roll offerings, and if you enjoy Groth's guitar-oriented work, this album will leave you satisfied, if not necessarily ecstatic. If, on the other hand, you're still waiting for Apoptygma Berzerk to make a triumphant return to pure electronic music, this might be your cue to give up hope.

Visit Groth and friends at www.apoptygmaberzerk.de.


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