Wednesday 13 February 2013

Review: Gentleman Junkie - 'Soul To Soul'

'Soul To Soul' 

The Los Angeles based duo of Ed Korn and Nabil Kaseem finally make their label début with 'Soul To Soul', a hefty collection of eclectic electronica taking in industrial, ebm, punk and ethnic tinged influences to create a rich and diverse first offering. Gentleman Junkie promise a thoughtful and yet dance-friendly formula, and it seems that they have delivered this in abundance here.

The band mix strong hooks and driving dance beats as standard, but are not afraid to shake things up. For example the variety of Korn's vocal performances which range from clean and powerful  pop to Kraftwerk-esque robotic. Songs such as 'Holy War', 'Killing Time', 'To Be The King' and 'The Knife' all ooze club  hit potential and are at the same time ideal for solitary listening with their emotive lyrics. However the album's crowning glory is the sumptuous Depeche Mode meets Kula Shakr blend of western electronics and Indian rhythms on 'Shivoham'.

It doesn't all quite go according to plan though as seen on the opening track 'No God' which, as good as each component part is, just doesn't quite seem to sync up. Some of the samples as well don't really add that much the songs and feel somewhat superfluous as a result. Yet the sheer quality of the song-writing on 'Soul To Soul' is more than enough to see them through the infrequent shakey patches.

This is a well written, well preformed and well produced début that will sure to have a lot of people talking. There are the odd few faults but they are minor, infrequent and do not detract from what is a very strong first outing for the band. Throw in some great (and very different) remixes by top names such as Assemblage 23, Kervorkian Death Cycle, Naloiv and A Brilliant Massacre for good measure and it seems assured Gentleman Junkie will be on a lot of club play lists this year.

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