Aug 2011 09

Twitch the Ripper - Bodiless
Twitch the Ripper
Category: Electronica
Album: Bodiless
Stars: 2.5
Blurb: Great promise struggling to overcome the weight dragging it to its death.


Quickly making a name for themselves supporting My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and 16volt on the Sinister Whisperz Tour, this young group from Connecticut’s debut album definitely suggests them to be an interesting addition to the lineup. A somewhat retro styled synthpop album, Bodiless channels ‘80s styled synth lines but smears them with an aura of melancholy and gloom. This low-key and subdued style could have made for a calming and relaxing album, but unfortunately, some of the group’s more glaring weaknesses will leave the listener struggling to appreciate the good and ignore the bad.

Showing a clear influence from acts such as Depeche Mode and New Order, musically Twitch the Ripper does a fantastic job of channeling the work of these bands in the composition while putting a slightly more updated spin on it, but it is vocally and lyrically where the act completely falls apart. Utilizing a crooning, breathy, whispered vocal style, singer Jon Dobyns’ voice frequently sounds flat, off-key, or like it’s struggling to show range where there is none. Tracks like “Keep Me Cold” and “Bright Is Impossible” are nicely composed and show off an ability to create warm and memorable arrangements, but Dobyns manages to get in the way of the songs with his contributions feeling slapped on, out of place, or simply irksome and unwanted. Adding insult to injury, “Disconnected” and “A Place for Polaris” are two of the catchiest and best composed tracks on the album but are tragically weighed down not only by the anchor of Dobyns’ voice, but also some very poor lyrical work that reeks of a junior high school poetry jam.

Bodiless is one of those albums that would have fared much better if it had just been fully instrumental. Twitch the Ripper is obviously quite apt at producing some deep and lovely synth work, but the vocal performance and poor lyrics end up being much more distracting than complementary. With a flaw as glaring and obtrusive as these vocals, it’s nearly impossible to recommend Bodiless, but the real shame is that it feels like there’s a good album lurking right below the surface struggling to break free of the weight that is drowning it.

Track list:

  1. Disconnected
  2. Bodiless
  3. Bright Is Impossible
  4. Never Got You Anywhere
  5. Keep Me Cold
  6. Body Blue
  7. Eternity
  8. Nurse Price
  9. A Place for Polaris

Twitch the Ripper Website
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Purchase at:
Amazon MP3


Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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