Wednesday 16 November 2016

Review: The Sweetest Condition – 'We Defy Oblivion'

'We Defy Oblivion'

Hot on the heels of their 2015 full-length début, Nashville's The Sweetest Condition hit back with their sophomore offering in the form of 'We Defy Oblivion'. An album that sees the bands signature sound of synthpop crashing headlong into harder industrial elements and some brash rock guitars further refined into a sharper and more focused attack.

The ever present lead vocals of Leslie Irene Benson unifies each track with a melodic counterweight to the darker and more sinister instrumentation which effectively distils the current chaotic world climate into a frustrated and defiant statement.

Songs such as 'Deconstructing', 'Don't Cross Me', 'Keep Turning Me On', 'Vices', and 'Nein Nein Nein' lead the charge with a strong blend of melodic synths, hard steady beats and searing guitars. While the likes of 'Faithless', 'Knock Us Down', and 'Unforgiven' in particular push the electronic elements harder for a more bouncy and dance-orientated sound. The result is a blend of great 90s electro rock re-appropriated for the current climate. There is that slightly grungy flavour to the rock guitars and the vocal performance, but a wholly 21st execution.

Production-wise there is a nod to those 90s influences, but no needless nostalgia. The band know who they are and what they want to say. And quite rightly the production is fresh, up-to-date and modern throughout to bring the best out of the individual tracks and bring them together into one collected statement of intent.

'We Defy Oblivion' is a strong second album that is heavy, catchy, and full of surprises. It will instantly find favour with fans of Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, Kidney Thieves, and Godhead. The band have passed the difficult second album test that seems to stump so many, and they have done it with ease.  

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