Jan 2015 25

No:Carrier - Wisdom & FailureNo:Carrier
Category: Darkwave / Synthpop
Album: Wisdom & Failure
Stars: 3.5
Blurb: With a refined sense of production and arrangement driven by more strongly developed songwriting, No:Carrier’s new album shows excellent creative growth.


After the Last Scene EP marked a change in direction for the duo of Chris Wirsig and Cynthia Wechselberger – collectively known as No:Carrier – toward a darker and more intricately layered style of electro, the band had much to live up to. On Wisdom & Failure, the appropriately titled full-length follow-up, the band more than demonstrates that it was up to the task, learning from the missteps of past releases like Between the Chairs toward a more mature and fully developed sound that No:Carrier can call its own.

After the smoky and bluesy “Last Scene,” the song evoking imagery akin to a Weimar Republic cabaret, the album’s opening track may throw the listener for a loop. With its light swells of analog synth, upbeat pianos, and Wechselberger’s crooning, “Alone Now” sounds like a throwback to the more saccharine Speak & Spell days of Depeche Mode. This is immediately dissuaded with the onset of “Confession,” its pulsating layers of ambient synths forming a lush tapestry of cloudy electronic bliss. Songs like “Let Me Walk Alone” with its subtle vocal harmonies in the chorus and the almost funky warbles of analog synth filling the role normally taken on by a wah guitar, or “Losing Sight of the Coast” as Wirsig’s husky voice begins the song, “Sometimes, I feel like Satan / sometimes, I am the lamb,” add a welcome element of cinematic mystery to the album; for the simplicity of the melodies, the arrangements are deceptively complex. The bouncy and immediately danceable “Life” reminds this listener of the best song Laura Branigan never recorded, while the bass line and shimmering guitar-esque synth melodies in “Thoughts/Shoot the Sky” would play well in the soundtrack to a modern James Bond spy thriller. The title track ends the album on a somber note as trickles of synth and organ play beneath a mournful piano progression, the chorus erupting into an almost cacophonous burst of classically inspired audio drama aided by the ghostly layers of Wechselberger’s voice.

At the heart of Wisdom & Failure besides No:Carrier’s finely tuned sense of production and arrangement is a strong lyrical foundation as each song adds to an overarching theme related to the album title. Just as the band has applied the wisdom acquired from the failures of the past, so do the characters voiced in each song, exhibiting a strong sense of self awareness and mature songwriting that makes Wisdom & Failure an excellent and enjoyable listen. Even while No:Carrier’s dark electronic pop sound still recalls aspects of the past, it does so with anticipation for further exploration into new territories.
Track list:

  1. Alone Now
  2. Confession
  3. Life
  4. Sunset Castle
  5. Last Scene
  6. Let Me Walk Alone
  7. The Nine Days’ Queen
  8. Losing Sight of the Coast
  9. Thoughts/Shoot the Sky
  10. Autumn Morning (Just Being There)
  11. Owes You Nothing
  12. Wisdom and Failure

No:Carrier Website http://www.nocarriermusic.com
No:Carrier Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NoCarrierMusic
No:Carrier Twitter https://twitter.com/ncrrr
No:Carrier ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/nocarrier
No:Carrier SoundCloud http://www.soundcloud.com/nocarriermusic
No:Carrier Bandcamp https://nocarrier.bandcamp.com
Electric Heresy Website http://electric-heresy.com
Electric Heresy Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Counter-Communications-Electric-Heresy/189244727793056
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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