FIRST AID 4 SOULS
'Smile No More'
First Aid 4 Souls is one of those acts that should be more of a common name than they are. The brainchild of Istvan Gazdag, First Aid 4 Souls has dabbled in just about every electronic genre you can imagine across a succession of solid album releases. The latest offering sees Gazdag and a group of guest vocalists, including Balazs Frank (V.e.N.), Aaron Russell (Impurfekt), and George Mortum Turoczy (Human Vault), swing back into old school ebm territory for 'Smile No More'.
The album is solidly rooted in a combination of melodic synths, dance-friendly beats and steady paces with the occasional permeation dark and ambient textures into the mix. The end result is definitely old school ebm, but with that undeniable FA4S mark that Gazdag can't help but leave. There are the usual nods to the classic bands of the genre, but 'Smile No More' asserts itself as an independent entity throughout.
Songs such as 'Chaos Cultist', 'Alien Implant', 'No More Smile', and 'Fortress' in particular distil the best of the genre through the out-of-the-box thinking of Gazdag and into a distinct delivery that makes good use of elements such as live drums, guitars and different vocalists to add variety and depth.
The production has a distinctly old school feel to it that reflects the subject matter. While it does sound appropriate for the material, it isn't as crisp and modern as some of the previous FA4S albums have delivered, and so doesn't quite sound like it has delved into its full potential, however it works regardless.
This is a nice EP that shows off yet another side to First Aid 4 Souls as an electronic product. It may not have the big ambient, psychedelic or more complex elements that we're used to from previous releases, but it sets out to do old school ebm, and in the end it does it damn well.