Wednesday 2 April 2014

Review: Costume – 'Costume'


Italian electro-pop duo Costume, featuring Nude vocalist Tommy Box, have only been around for a short time, but as their self-titled label début will attest, they have already honed their sound. Mixing the mass-appeal of 80's synthpop with the dark sheen of 90's darkwave Costume create a big dance friendly sound that won't fail to get bodies moving.

Their formula isn't anything radically new or experimental. But it isn't derivative either. The duo have arrived at their own take on the synthpop sound that combines the melodies of Depeche Mode and Erasure with the big atmospheres of Covenant. Tracks like 'Love & Romance', 'Kiss One (2.3)', 'So Low (Have You Ever Been)', 'Toy-Boy Illusion', 'Stars', and 'Fire' are undeniable dance floor hits. Their relentless beats, infectious melodies, sing-a-long choruses and room-filling vibe are simply the perfect fodder for both club and live play.

What's interesting though is that this feels very much an album of two haves with side a brining an ultra-sleek dance manifesto to the fore. While side b featuring a more experimental slant to the songs and production as well as additional vocals from Steven Jones & Donna Destri (Blondie, The Ramones). It's an interesting move considering the old vinyl convention of being able to turn an album over and change the atmosphere has all but died out. It's a brave move, and one that pays off.

As said previously the first six tracks have a huge and modern flavour to the production with its ultra-sleak mix. While the final six tracks feel a little more varied in their execution, which yields some interesting results. It might not be an approach that will find a willing reception from every listener, but it certainly sets them apart.

Costume have created a very interesting and unique album here. It's dance credentials are solid, as it's “alternative” tag. The construction may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if anything, it invites speculation as to what the band's follow-up will hold.

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