Apr 2012 24

The Break Up - SynthesisThe Break Up
Category: Electro / New Wave
Album: Synthesis
Stars: 3
Blurb: Dark ‘80s style electro-pop given a modern edge makes for a grittily appealing and unapologetically retro album.


Formed in 2007 by Shane Allen Hall and Severina X Sol, The Break Up presents an enticing brand of electro-pop that draws heavily on the tropes of the genre. Danceable beats collide with the gritty, classic synth sounds of the past so prevalent in modern electroclash, topped off by new wave melodies that are sure to remind listeners of their favorite moments of the ‘80s. From this description, it would be easy to dismiss The Break Up as yet another retro electro band devoid of its own personality – looking at the cover of Synthesis, the band’s official debut on Metropolis Records more than a year after their initial self-titled record, one would imagine the band being a favorite of Michael Alig or James St. James. Regardless, The Break Up present these qualities in fine form, rarely straying from the conventions in favor of simply living up to them as excellently as possible.

Given Sol’s more gothic/industrial background as a vocalist in Cylab and Diva Destruction and Hall’s as a digital hardcore DJ and one time club kid personality, there is a certain appeal in this brand of simple yet effective electro. From the opening track, “Your Dark Brown Eyes” is an instantly catchy helping of scathing dark electro with a rather bouncy dance beat and a melody too lovely to not get stuck in one’s head long after its criminally short time span has expired. Songs like “Fever Pitch” and “Come Undone” are almost comical in their straightforward approach, Sol’s passionate vocals often carrying the songs just above the simplicity of their arrangements. The same can be said of “Heartstrings,” Hall’s square-wave arpeggios and one-two beats actually giving rise to a distorted lead emulating a guitar that underplay Sol’s ambient harmonies, making for a nicely retro effect, while “Lightning” has a rather chip-tune-esque tonality that is delightfully saccharine. The title track closes the album with perhaps some of the harshest tones heard, punching through the speakers while Sol’s vocal abandon brings Synthesis to an eerie conclusion.

Of the 13 tracks, four make a return from the self-titled record. Among them, “Who’s Crying Now” with its twinkling backdrop and the warm, expansive atmosphere of “My Machine” are no less infectious in the context of the album, though this writer wonders if the band was so bereft of new material that a full four tracks had to be culled for this release. However, given the austere nature of the band’s sound, they still fit in rather nicely. With Synthesis, The Break Up doesn’t seem to make any grandiose claims of being exceptional in the realm of electro-pop, preferring simply to stick to a formula that inherently works. For this, the band deserves credit for proficient execution, creating a sound that has a distinctly modern attitude in terms of its crisp production coupled with a lusciously unapologetic embrace of the past. It would be laughable if it weren’t done so well with songs so instantly catchy that one can’t help but to dance and hum along to the sensual and emotive melodies.
Track list:

  1. Your Dark Brown Eyes
  2. Fever Pitch
  3. Who’s Crying Now
  4. Ninja
  5. My Machine
  6. Come Undone
  7. Guillotine
  8. Heartstrings
  9. Lightning
  10. City Lights
  11. The Sun
  12. Trapeze
  13. Synthesis

The Break Up Website http://wearethebreakup.com
The Break Up MySpace page http://www.myspace.com/thebreakuptheband
The Break Up Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Break-Up/271500026182
The Break Up ReverbNation http://www.reverbnation.com/thebreakup
Metropolis Records Website http://www.metropolis-records.com
Metropolis Records MySpace http://www.myspace.com/metropolisrecords
Metropolis Records Facebook http://www.facebook.com/MetropolisRecords
Metropolis Records Twitter http://www.twitter.com/metropolisrec
Purchase at:
Amazon CD
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

Leave a Comment


Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!