Thursday, 5 July 2012

Imaginary War - Replacing The Ghosts

Album review by KevW


For their debut album it appears that German quartet Imaginary War have gathered together a set of retro electro-rock tunes and holed themselves up in a studio with the desk set to 'anthem' to record them. These are cold and deadpan songs that hark back to the concrete electronic sounds that emanated from Berlin in the late 70's. The vintage sounding synths hiss and fizz like those analogue pioneers, but Imaginary War have added big pop choruses and aimed for the skies with this album, they want these songs to be huge and they want them to sound at home in huge venues. Most of the time they just about get away with it too.

It might seem cruel to compare a band to forgotten synth rockers The Bravery but these songs fall into much the same category as their monster hit 'Honest Mistake'. If you're still not sure of their intentions then a listen to the opening trilogy of single 'The Tide Has Turned', 'Expression' and 'Days Turn Brighter' will sum things up perfectly. High tempo, urgent, and made for radio; essential the band letting you know they mean business. And these songs are decent enough if you're into that sort of thing, but the rest of the album continues in much the same vein which deadens the impact somewhat.

There are moments when the pace is allowed to drop, such as the opening to 'It's Important', which soon cuts to an explosive interlude, or 'Die Tonight' and 'Love Overdose' which tone down their industrial electro sound. These are welcome breaks from the bluster and a little more variation may improve things further. Overall it's a bit too one dimensional, but it certainly packs a punch on occasion. You could sum up this album's sound by describing it as a hybrid of Gary Numan, White Lies and Hurts, three bands who are more successful on the continent than in the UK, and you suspect this may be the case with Imaginary War too.





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