Thursday 25 September 2014

Review: Lovelorn Dolls – 'Japanese Robot Invasion'

'Japanese Robot Invasion'

Belgian gothic/industrial rock duo Lovelorn Dolls return with their sophomore outing, 'Japanese Robot Invasion'. Featuring a stronger leaning towards their electronic side, the album is just as dark and twisted as their début albeit in a more focussed and atmospheric way. The dynamic of the songs is stronger, and the duo of Ladyhell and Corpus Christi look to solidify their presence.

The album opens with 'Happy Valentine', with it's simple music box melody counterpointed by the hard guitars and mix of dark and light vocals it evokes a grittier take on The Birthday Massacre with a little Jack Off Jill thrown in for good measure. Songs such as 'The Thrill', 'Japanese Robot Invasion', 'Miss Friday Night', 'Blood Moon' and 'Wolf Inside' follow the formula set out in the opening track mixing the guitars against dance orientated synths to create something semi-dance friendly but nonetheless very infectious.

It doesn't always work though as the lack lustre cover of The Cure's 'Just Like Heaven' goes to show. Lovelorn Dolls are at their best when they don't pull their punches and really push themselves to expand their core sound, such as on the sumptuous 'Jasmina'. Luckily though at ten tracks in total, there are plenty more hits than misses.

The production for the most part is pretty solid. It has an air of the late 90s / early 00s industrial rock sound more readily identified with Kidney Thieves and Orgy, which isn't a bad thing. In fact it gives the album an air of comforting familiarity.

'Japanese Robot Invasion' is a definite step in the right direction for Lovlorn Dolls. When they get that high octane mix of hard guitars, haunting vocals and dance synths going they sound great. There are still a few points that could have used a little more work, but at the end of the day this is a good album that will have plenty of appeal.  

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