As synthpop declined in the mainstream toward the late ‘80s, Germany’s Beborn Beton defied the changing landscape, choosing to bear the standard for synthpop as the genre receded into the underground After a semi-hiatus, 2015’s A Worthy Compensation found the group’s songwriting chops as strong as ever, a trend that largely continues now with Darkness Falls Again.
Though not much has changed in the realm of Beborn Beton, it’s comforting to know that the band’s skills are largely undiminished. This is an album of solidly written and executed synthpop, all polished up with the gleaming sheen of modern production. “Dancer in the Dark” is as fine a single as Beborn Beton has recorded, a smooth and catchy slice of synthpop with a nice peppy rhythm, refined synth programming, and even a sleek touch of guitar all blended together with the sort of ease that only comes from a band so tenured and assured. “I Watch My Life on TV” and “Electricity” are just as worthy, elevated by articulate and tasteful programming, and particularly strong vocal performances by lead singer Stefan Netschio. “Last Chance” adds some grit to the band’s palette with some crunchy guitar and modulated vocal treatments around a soaring refrain, assembling perhaps the strongest moment on the record in the process. “Burning Gasoline” likewise sports an edgier sound with punchier beats and harder synths to drive home the grim imagery of a burning world endangered by climate change.
Taut and lean at eight tracks, Darkness Falls Again is a fast moving record that nonetheless manages to leave an impression with solid compositions delivered with effortless execution by the long running German act. Despite the lengthy break between records once again, Beborn Beton’s hands are as sure as ever and they’ve assembled another very competent album that continues to solidify their legacy as one of the most steadily dependable synthpop groups around… an impressive feat for a band entering its third decade of existence.