Jan 2013 30

Clan of Xymox - Kindred SpiritsClan of Xymox
Category: Darkwave
Album: Kindred Spirits
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: An attempt to map the extent of musical affiliations of the darkwave legends that never reaches the heights set by either the originals or Xymox’s own work.


 

Having traversed a long and rocky road since the release of Subsequent Pleasures in 1981, Clan of Xymox arrives at the point in their career where an album of covers might play out like more than just a curio, but instead gives a genuine insight into what Ronny Moorings calls a soundtrack to the band’s life. Kindred Spirits finds the darkwave titans channeling some interesting emotions, but sadly, the musical facet of the compilation ascertains a respectful but predictable relationship with the original material and allows the band little room to breathe a fresh, new lease of life into the immortal hits.

The list of artists alone is enough to exhilarate longtime fans of the band, but the opening “Venus” sends some decidedly mixed signals as the track tries to settle between the eclectic Dutch original and the MTV incarnation by Bananarama, ultimately landing in the euro-pop orbit of the latter if infused with darker, gothic tones. The Sisters of Mercy’s haunting “Alice” feels synth heavy and deflated with Moorings’ vocals futilely mimicking the deep and penetrating timbre of Andrew Eldritch. This disappointing trajectory of ersatz interpretation continues throughout the rest of the album with memorable favorites like “Is Vic There?” by Department S and “Decades” by Joy Division blatantly borrowed from the original performers and played back with no visible intention to appropriate their unique spirits. Nine Inch Nails’ self-deprecating ballad “Something I Can Never Have” is atom by atom of its creative core reproduced with only the strangely disconnected voice reminding the listener of the depraving insincerity of the cover’s emotional intent. And as if it was an unwritten rule, no cover effort could be complete without a rendition of The Cure’s “A Forest,” which you might wish to skip altogether if only to preserve the fond memory of Smith’s remarkable effort. From somewhat proficient to truly awkward, the album shifts in its closing minutes with Radiohead’s “Creep” and “Blue Monday” taking place at the peak of artistic boredom, neither of them of any true value to fans and non-fans alike.

If there is one thing that this collection of covers confirms, it is that some melodies and some emotions are, in the listeners’ hearts and minds, connected to their authors so deeply that they fail to easily transcend their original versions. Clan of Xymox’s attempt to share a part of musical history that inspired them and haunted them is a curious if ultimately pointless exercise that occasionally reminds you of the bond between an artist and his work but never ignites with the same passion that the two should share.
 
Track list:

  1. Venus (Shocking Blue)
  2. Alice (The Sisters of Mercy)
  3. Is Vic There (Department S)
  4. A Forest (The Cure)
  5. Something I Can Never Have (Nine Inch Nails)
  6. Red Light (Siouxsie and the Banshees)
  7. Decades (Joy Division)
  8. Heroes (David Bowie)
  9. A Question of Time (Depeche Mode)
  10. Creep (Radiohead)
  11. Blue Monday (New Order)

 
Clan of Xymox Website http://www.clanofxymox.com
Clan of Xymox MySpace http://www.myspace.com/clanofxymox
Clan of Xymox Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/clan-of-xymox/111769160178
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter https://twitter.com/metropolisrec
Trisol Music Group GmbH Website http://www.trisol.de
Trisol Music Group GmbH MySpace http://www.myspace.com/trisol
Trisol Music Group GmbH Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Trisol-Music-Group
Trisol Music Group GmbH ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/trisolmusicgroup
 
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
 
2012-10-09
 
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

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