Tuesday 11 March 2014

Review: Johnathan/Christian – 'Beautiful Hideous'

'Beautiful Hideous'

Joining the ever lengthening line of those more than willing to pillage the leftovers of those who never did it particularly well (in the first place), Johnathan/Christian's latest homage to all things sombre is a willing addition to any trad-goths collection but will really struggle to make ground elsewhere.

With a press release that rather, drudgingly name-drops more or less every reverb-clad outfit circa 1990, 'Beautiful Hideous' successfully ticks off all the elements that make this a full-player of dance-floor fillers owing to the numerous, well-executed orchestral bursts and pin-sharp crescendos; many of which seen in the album opener 'I Walk this Earth Alone.' Tangential to the cause, Beautiful Hideous isn't a work of total idol worship however; with tracks like 'Fallen' offering a steampunk edge and the title-tune giving us a tiny morsel of modern electro, Johnathan/Christian's dark 'vision' struggles to bare it's teeth and thus seems to constantly plateau far too early.

We expected more from such lauded veterans of the alternative musical scene. There is just nothing here that packs a punch and the result is something that struggles along at a snails pace. 'Beautiful Hideous' would be right at home tinkering in the background as affording it any concentrated effort just ends in frustration. A shame.  

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