Violens Amoral

Violens Amoral
Violens are the new trio fronted by Jorge Elbrecht, known best for his work in art/music collective Lansing-Dreiden. Formed in 2007, as a side-project, Violens aren't a radical departure from Elbrecht's previous work, packaging the same slick '80s production with all sorts of disparate influences. After dropping an EP in 2008, the band have released debut album Amoral. Technically speaking, Elbrecht, Iddo Arad and Myles Metheny are airtight in execution, almost as if nothing short of perfection is acceptable. There are some moments that come close to achieving this, like first single "Acid Reign," a twitchy, yet elegant, pop song that steadies quivering rhythms with Elbrecht's urbane croon for a sound that could only come from NYC. But for lack of a better cliché, Violens go for style over substance. Both "Violent Sensation Descends," a barefaced throwback to the British Invasion, and "Trance Like Turn," the kind of '80s self-indulgence that Heaven 17 failed to write, have the short-term flavour of your average chewing gum. By failing to combine "the ambient synths of Cocteau Twins and Sisters of Mercy with blistering guitar textures evoking Crass and Minor Threat" that their press release mentions, Amoral never lives up to its hefty promises, instead sounding like too many bands that have fallen by the wayside. (Friendly Fire)