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Reviews CD Reviews Gothic You Shriek- Somewhere Between (Heaven & Sorrow)

Artist: You Shriek

CD title: Somewhere Between (Heaven & Sorrow)

Label: You Shriek

Genre: Gothic, Darkwave

Website: http://youshriek.com/

Reviewer: DJ Kantrip

Date: 06/14/2011

 



-Buy Here:  http://youshriek.com/

You Shriek holds a special place in the heart of this reviewer.  Back in 1996, a sad little gothic radio show was playing nothing but the picked over remnants of what passed for Gothic / Industrial music that was left in the station music library, after previous generations graduated.  Mostly a lot of Valor-fronted Christian Death, Coil, and KMFDM.  Then out of no where a tiny little 6 song EP appeared on the DJ's desk called Promotion No. 1 from a band called You Shriek.  This EP sparked the young DJ to drag his moping bitter ass out of the corporate music CD stores and to start digging around on the Internet for new bands to spice up his show.  So being given the chance to review the latest album from You Shriek is a thrill.

Formed back in 1990 by Raziel Panic, in Boston MA, You Shriek is Darkwave act with a light and hopeful feel to it.  It strikes an emotional chord in the listener that is somewhere between Depeche Mode's more upbeat songs, and New Order's really depressing tracks.   That edge of joy where you're scared of falling and finding out that there's nothing underneath to catch you.  But what the hell!  Ride that bliss because it's fleeting.  Or simply, Somewhere Between (Heaven & Sorrow).

Somewhere Between (Heaven & Sorrow) is You Shriek's, third full-length album, which ends a rather lengthy silence since they vanished from the Dark Alternative music scene back in 2006.  The band used this hiatus to step back and revisit some earlier ideas that they had played around with.   This return to previous works gives the new CD a rather nostalgic sound, reminiscent of something from 4AD records.  Sinister sounding Synthpop, with the ephemeral elegance of Shoegazer.   The vocals on the album waver in a place that is not too angry, and not too angsty.  So there is no hoarse shrieking or droning wails, which seemed to be the main vocal stylings of late 90's Darkwave.

Concerning Life Support opens up the album, with a marching beat that guides the listener on a tireless trudge through a city in search of that companion that will allow a true moments rest.  While a good opening track, Concerning Life Support fails to capture the full depth of the album's mood.   While Raziel's vocals do redeem the song, the music itself sounds just like a typical Darkwave track. Stompy Beat with Swoony synths (to put it in Goth Dancing terms).

The rest of the album is considerably more thought out.  Heaven and Sorrow 1 introduces instrumentation and vocal harmonies that really shows the 20+ years of thought and effort the band has put into their music.    The programming and beat makes the listener want to do that two-step club shuffle, while the guitars and pianos fill those feet with a bit more pep and step.  No Heroes is reminiscent of The Cure's Burn, with its heavy bass-lines, high-pitched guitars and crashing cymbals.  Well Enough Alone, is a fun and flirty Synthpop track that puts aside the Gothy gloom, and has a vaguely Erasure-esque sound to it.   Closing the album is She Does Not Go To Parties Anymore, which starts off slower than No Heroes, but with similar drums and bass-lines.  Whispering vocals tell the sad story of a party girl seeking a rush that seems to get further and further away from her the more she indulges her urges.  This rather tragic song is made uplifting by the inclusion of violins and wailing guitars, and then closes suddenly but also quietly leaving us to wonder if our party girl found that rush or is still drifting between alleys.

Somewhere Between (Heaven and & Sorrow) is a shining example of what happens when a band returns to their roots with the experience they have accumulated.  A perfect sense of Nostalgia but with the open-eyed awareness of past mistakes.   If you like bands like the Cure, Ikon, or New Order, you will like You Shriek. The album is available digitally through the band's website.  It is also available on CD in a 6-panel case in a bundle with a 12” vinyl EP and High-Dynamic download of the album, but the 40.00 price mark may deter new fans from getting this collector's pack for just one album.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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