Thursday 7 February 2013

Review: United And Identified - 'At The Border Of The Line'

'At The Border Of The Line' 

'At The Border Of The Line' is the début EP from United And Identified, the new project of ex 1D-Fens man Steve Caster. The name of the game here is futurepop, albeit with a smattering of ebm and trance but immediately the new project's sound evokes comparison to the likes of VNV Nation, Covenant and Apoptygma Berzerk with it's blend of dreamy synths, toe-tapping beats and emotionally resonant vocals.

So far it ticks all the boxes. However 'At The Border Of The Line' cannot be accused of being a “paint-by-numbers” kind of project. There are some very strong influences from the giants of the genre, but this is very much a labour of love, and it shows.
'X-Truth-E', 'Mirror Of Denial' and 'At The Border Of The Line' all demonstrate an undeniable commercial and club-friendly sound and will no doubt male their way onto plenty of playlists in the coming months as a result. But it is the final song, 'Life', with it's 'Futureperfect' style synth-strings and more mellow pace that anchors the EP in the sublime end of the pop spectrum for a fitting finale.

This is a very good first outing for Caster that displays a strong understanding of good song writing. However it does feel very restrained throughout. The choruses in every song never get the kick that you are expecting and as a result tend to just fade back into the verses. Also Caster's vocals, while strong and capable of expressing the emotional content of the lyrics, never really get to soar. But that being said, 'At The Border Of The Line' still shows that United And Identified has all of the potential to become a real break-out name.

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