May 2013 30

Various Artists - Tainted Candy: A Tribute to ‘80s New WaveVarious Artists
Category: Compilations
Album: Tainted Candy: A Tribute to ‘80s New Wave
Stars: 3
Blurb: COMA Music Magazine gathers together young artists to pay tribute to the heavily influential ‘80s.


Though electronic and gothic music were around before the ‘80s, the decade saw a still unequaled surge of acts achieving mainstream success as it pushed headlong into the pop culture of the era. This led to the ‘80s having an undeniably huge impact on today’s electronic and gothic musicians. With that in mind, COMA Music Magazine has assembled a pack of up and coming young acts to pay tribute to the new wave music of the decade, the next generation’s salute to their ancestors.

Deconbrio starts things off nicely with a coldwave take on Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer,” but John Omen’s neat tone deaf take on The Cure’s “Strange Days” makes it obvious that not every track will be a winner. Though there is no shortage of Depeche Mode covers in the world, and it’s a little disappointing that the artists didn’t branch out a little more, Nitronoise’s and maQLu’s covers make for two of the more interesting interpretations on the album. Nitronoise cranks up the intensity and turns “Black Celebration” into a blistering and aggressive track with death metal-like vocals and coarse, glitch heavy arrangements; maQLu’s by contrast works “Lie To Me” into a mellow gothic cabaret sound that feels like a very natural fit with the vocalist’s very passive, low effort style. Cryogen Second and guest vocalist Brian Graupner of the Gothsicles on the other hand completely reshape and rework Men at Work’s “Who Can it be Now?,” changing the lyrics to a more modern interpretation of the original song’s meaning. Oh So’s cover of Gary Numan’s “Conversation” is probably one of the bigger missed opportunities of the album. By producing a near perfect adaptation of the song, but not really interjecting any of the band’s own personality into the track, it simply leaves the listener yearning to hear the original rather than investigating the act doing the cover.

With any tribute album there comes the problem that any effort put into the cover instantly will draw comparisons to the original. Some of the artists have done a very nice job of putting new twists on their respective songs and gave the song some new life while showing off their unique sounds. Others, unfortunately, were not as successful. Such is the nature of these sorts of albums. Regardless, COMA has done a nice job of assembling a group of promising young artists and with it being offered as a free download (though donations are appreciated), there’s really no reason not to give this pleasant little twist on nostalgia a listen.
Track list:

  1. Deconbrio – Sledgehammer
  2. Nousia – I Ran
  3. John Omen – Strange Days
  4. Nitronoise – Black Celebration
  5. FFT – Destination Unknown
  6. Produkt – She Bop
  7. Oh So (ft. Loryn Sonnan) – Conversation
  8. Mickle Boulevard – Revenge
  9. UCNX – Adorations
  10. Cryogen Second (ft. Brian Gaupner) – Who Can it be Now?
  11. maQLu – Lie to Me
  12. Synapse – Send Me an Angel
  13. M.I.D. – A Little Respect
  14. Duffy Laudick – That’s Good

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Trubie Turner (Flexei)

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