Top critical review
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Surely one of the worst albums in recent memory.
on 22 September 2012
I must say that I was shocked to find such praise and positivity amongst the reviewers on here, because I think that this is a terrible album. Certainly Death In Vegas' worst.
Traditionally when people think back to Death In Vegas when they were at the top of their game, they were renowned for expertly fusing rhythmic electronica, big beat and indie rock. Their use of beats was a particular highlight of their earliest album 'Dead Elvis', however the mix of indie became the prominent factor in their two most successful albums ('The Contino Sessions' and 'Scorpio Rising') before giving way to the reliance on electronica for their fourth album 'Satan's Circus'. Now, out of the four albums I always thought that Satan's Circus was by far the weakest, albeit with an incredible live bonus disc. I found that once the band threw out the majority of their big beat and rock elements that their sound lacked it's traditional strength and energy. So, when I listened to 'Tran-Love Energies' I was hugely disappointed to find that these elements were still lacking.
Death In Vegas' fifth album is so devoid of rhythm in places that it sounds like an ambient film soundtrack. The tracks which do feature singers are equally minimalistic and nowhere close to the quality of songs like 'Aisha', 'Hands Around My Throat' or 'Flying'. Neither are they as beautiful as the band's earlier minimalistic sounding tracks like '23 Lies'. The stand out track is 'Your Loft, My Acid', a purely electronic affair that would have been a mere 'filler track' in their heyday. Other tracks which I half enjoyed included 'Medication', 'Coum' and 'Scissors', but none of them match any of their older work. In the mean time, tracks like 'Black Hole', 'Witchdance', 'Drone Reich' and 'Savage Love' are either totally messy or a complete waste of time.
I do feel that some of the tracks on the bonus CD like 'I.W.Y.L.A.' have a little bit more about them, but overall the album is extremely weak. Obviously it was the band's intention to make a minimalistic, electronica based, eclectic album and if I'm the only one who has failed to understand the significance of the music then I apologise. However, I suspect that most people who liked the band's previous work will be as disappointed as I am. Maybe one day, Death In Vegas will return to their full splendour, and if this album is a step in that direction then so be it. But it will quickly be forgotten if it is.