Tuesday 10 November 2015

Review: Johnathan|Christian – 'The Nothing I Feel'

'The Nothing I Feel'

While their first album 'Beautiful Hideous' was a somewhat self-conscious exploration of influences and heroes, the transatlantic duo of Johnathan Mooney [ex-The New Creatures] and Christian Granquist [Day Behaviour, The Atom] return with a more mature sophomore effort. The duo's second album 'The Nothing I Feel' still has it's feet firmly in the 80s with big nods to the likes of Depeche Mode, The Sisters Of Mercy, Joy Division and Bauhaus making it instantly accessible to the traditional goth scene. However, the brief glimpses of their own emerging style on their first outing, begin to coalesce in a more defined way on 'The Nothing I Feel' to show off a more well-rounded and individualistic sound.

Songs such as 'The Nothing I Feel', 'The Pink And The Black', 'Independence', 'Her Austere Heart', and 'Your Lying Virtue' provide the album with it's strongest moments as they walk a fine line between old school gothic and modern dark rock with piercing electronic elements and emotive vocal performances.
The remix of 'The Pink And The Black' courtesy of industrial rock legend En Esch provides another high water mark that while providing the album with a club-friendly mix also unfortunately shows up a few shortfalls left to iron out in the band's own formula.

The production isn't amazing and in a few places hampers some otherwise passable tracks. It feels low-fi and retro but not in a good way. The songs lack a strong bottom end and the vocals often sound flat in the mix compared to the symphonic keyboards. It's a shame as the En Esch remix shows just how strong they could sound.

'The nothing I Feel' is certainly an improvement in terms of the duo defining their sound and song writing. However it still sounds very much like a work in process, and a little rushed in parts. It's a shame as there is a lot of potential for this veteran duo to create some genuinely strong music together, but they're just not quite there yet.  

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