A wee bit of research tells me that The Hypnotic Lights are an electro-pop trio from Berlin. My first thought, as I listened to this – and I did, honest, more than once – was how dated it sounds. No, not ‘dated’, that’s a wee bit insulting. ‘Old-fashioned’? ‘Retro’ might be better. It’s got a very Eighties/Nineties indie dance feel to it; drum machine, bleepy synths. EP opener ‘Hypnotic Lights’ could have been a Human League song remixed by some nameless trance DJ. ‘Marionettes’ starts promisingly with a nice throbby bass synth, but soon reverts to generic electro disco pop.
I can hear Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, but without that band’s deft pop touch. Depeche Mode, perhaps, but without the bleakness. Maybe even a tiny hint of Yazoo, but lacking Alison Moyet’s lovely warm voice. Sorry for all of the ‘but’s. That’s what it’s like though. Yeah, but...
There’s a couple of re-mixes tagged on at the end which show a bit of promise, but end up going nowhere. ‘You Will Be (Lanny Mae’s Extra Part) seems to want to be Nine Inch Nails at the start, but just doesn’t have the grit. There’s a bit, about 6 minutes in, when it gets a bit Frankie Goes to Hollywood, briefly and to no great purpose.
I think they were trying for a dreamy hypnotic feel, but it all comes across as a bit mechanical and cold. Sterile, if you will. It’s not horrible. It simply doesn’t float my boat. And it’s just not very....beardy.
Posted: Thu 13 September 2012