Friday, February 16, 2018

Palais Ideal - No Signal [Dark Vinyl Records 078]

Within a few days only Palais Ideal's debut album "No Signal" is the second longplayer in our pile of albums to review that involves Richard Van Kruysdijk, this time in cooperation with John Edwards and exploring totally different territories compared to his solo effort as Cut Worms. And although the press release sheet causes a bit of skepticism as it lists a whole lot of bands under a 'for fans of...' headline, a marketing move we're not really fond of at all and thought this had ended for good, we're curious if references like The Sisters Of Mercy, New Order, Ultravox, Editors, Trentemøller, Lebanon Hanover and many more really come into play on this album. And, well they do, kind of. The opening song "Crossfade / Dissolve" paves the way for things to come, merging contemporary production values with a clear vision of the 80s which is surely informed by SynthPop and New Wave, yet more gravitating towards the eras daytime radio Rock than to the big hair, all dressed in black creatures of the night that have left a mark on dressing up and going out up to this day. With "Deity", maybe the albums most remarkable tune and a potential single, we're dealing with a precise drum machine swing and a distinct, slightly Ska-influenced offbeat feel evolving into an epic, slightly over the top showcase towards its end, "Remains" full merges Indie and New Wave melancholia, "Funtime" amalgamates a bluesy, Sisters Of Mercy-reminiscing darkness with a massive contrasting sing-a-long chorus whilst "The Book Of Lies" is about to please fans of Trentemøller's dreamier output musicwise indeed whilst dabbling with SynthPop romanticisms on a close to kitsch level. Furthermore "Seen Missing" is borderline 80s daytime radio, "A Black Noise" gets back to a Sisters-feel in its verses (and vocals...) whilst the chorus once again is on a more way more uplifting tip and "Resistance" causes proper dancefloor mayhem with its upbeat and uptempo, flogging Indie feel. The "Invisible Eye" could be another, more radio friendly, yet slightly rebellious single take and the final title track weighs in quite a bit of a ballad'esque feel towards the end. Overall this album is not as dark as we expected it to be and might not be everyone's cup of tea, even amongst die-hard genre aficionados, due to John Edwards quite unique special vocal style but still one to check out if you've got a thing for the darker side of the 80s and are keen to add a bonus chapter to a book that has all been written.

Album artwork on Instagram!


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