Mannequin Depressives Trash-Eighty

Mention industrial music and Canada in the same sentence and there's a very good chance that Skinny Puppy will also come up. But despite Calgary's Mannequin Depressives' protests that their new album will appeal to industrial fans, their music isn't as dark as you'd initially think. In fact, for the most part it is practically poppy. Trash-Eighty might be the band's first album, but they have had a certain amount of success with some EPs in the past couple of years. In fact, the best of those reappear here to keep the proceedings upbeat and reaffirm the band's love for that potentially disastrous decade, the '80s. Yet they feel the need to hide behind a cloak of darkness that really doesn't exist. When they finally do drop the pretence of being something more sinister and fully embrace their love of '80s synth-pop, they are at their most convincing. Yet the stronger songs (such as the New Order-influenced "Break") sounds dated in a way that might give the band a niche audience of those who dig that kind of thing. They've managed to make music that sounds like it could have come out 15 years ago, and they should be applauded for that, shouldn't they? (Klankboom)