Breaking Through

Self Released 2013

While not the typical fare for Nocturnal Cult Webzine, this American collective of electronic/dance masters have once again released an album of catchy and evocative tracks.  So this caught my ear and I felt I could help a few of you expand your musical palette.  Starting with the electric hum and crackling, a somewhat ominous synth drifts in before a snappy beat and cool vocal line takes control of your feet and hips.  The power and impact of the track is raised and then collapses.  The boisterous explosion of hard hitting synths as the song climaxes will force you to subconsciously dance in your chair.  Surrender is a bit more cerebral with its acoustic guitar and dreamlike soundscapes.  The darkened surrealism of the track brings to mind the Norwegian duo Royksopp or a happier Baxter.  The vocals soar as the song progresses only to drop into some intense beats and throbbing electronic textures at the 3:15 mark.  The beginning of Next In Line almost had me convinced it was going to be a rock song, until pillars of staggered sounds and washed out vocals rose and then faded like ghosts.  The emotional voice of the singer hits moments of uplifting force and then quickly retraces its steps towards a more controlled approach.  The guitar line pierces the determined, yet monotone, beat/keyboard section.  The xylophone and mesmerizing vocals on At The Top brings to mind a lot of 80s synth oriented New Wave.  The more prominent drum beat and the anthemic chorus and lyrical delivery is probably the only thing separating the two.  On Looking At You the drum beat shifts, warps and morphs itself while synths transition across nocturnal textures that somehow conjure comparisons to Skinny Puppy, though not as harsh.  Later portions of the track drag across your memories like a late night Depeche Mode listening session.  Gunslinger's new album is a conflagration of infectious beats and delicious synths that possess your body and compel it to sway and dance while losing yourself in beautiful sonic desert.