Wednesday 1 February 2017

Review: The Danse Society – 'VI Deluxe'

'VI Deluxe'

The Danse Society's latest album 'VI' (the third since the band's 2011 reformation, and sixth in total) has been around since last September, but with album number seven on the way plus a tour booked for the spring the time is right for a deluxe edition release.

The Danse Society's history is a long and murky one. Contemporaries of the post punk scene which included The Cure, Killing Joke, Joy Division, and Siouxsie And The Banshees, the band's original run came to an anti-climatic end in the mid 80s with a handful of albums and a string of great singles to their name, but only just beginning to scratch the surface of their potential.

Fast-forward to 2011 and the reformed band saw the release of 'Change Of Skin' and in 2013 'Scarey Tales', two albums that saw the band not only recapture, but surpass the magic of their original run. Since then legal issues have held up the release of the follow-up to 'Scarey Tales', but The Danse Society prove with 'VI' you just can't keep a good band down.

The Danse Society have always been an underrated jewel in the British post-punk scene and even thirty years since their original demise they still prove they have something original to offer. Combining gothic atmospheres with heavy rhythms and exquisite use of ambient electronics, the band weave a sumptuous tapestry of sonic splendor.

Tracks such as 'Star Whisperer', 'Bloodstream', 'Freakshow', 'Doodlebug', 'Angels DNA', and, 'Karma Machine' show off the best of the band's songwriting skills, not only honed by experience but also by the desire to uphold the moniker they have fought for. The album is reminiscent of Siouxsie and the Banshee's 'Hyena' with it's sinister and dark intent, giving way to downright beautiful refrains.

The Deluxe part of the album see's the inclusion of the double a-side single 'If I Were Jesus' / 'Sound Of Silence', which are are strong songs in their own right, but just give the tail-end of the album a little more punch.

Production-wise the album still has a visceral post-punk feel to it, but not in a low-fi or nostalgic way. Instead it is more of a no-nonsense and straight for the throat style that lays everything bare to the listener, and really lets you hear the subtleties of their performance.

'VI Deluxe' is another strong release from the band. It blends the familiar elements of their classic catalogue with new ideas. They could quite easily sit back and put out and updated version of 'Seduction', but they don't. Instead they continue to push their songwriting and explore where they can take their sound. Hopefully album number seven will continue this upward trajectory even further and see the band redefine their legacy.  

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