This past week, I have had the great pleasure of being sent two albums to review.
The first was an incredibly enjoyable band, one I’d never heard of, who were kind enough to make every song accessible to multiple-repeats on my iTunes. The second, from Black Onassis, was not quite as pleasurable an experience. In fact, at times, it was downright annoying.
The band itself is the brainchild of ex-Kasabian member Chris Karloff, who parted the successful Indie-Rock band in 2006. To take his musical experiments to an entirely new level, he has decided to create a primarily electric album, where he is supported by the likes of M83 (one of my personal favourites), The Duke Spirit, and Ben Gautrey as supporting vocalists. And here I think lies the problem to the album. Whereas other great electric albums have a clearly defined tone, theme and structure, Desensitize seems to be an odd mish-mash of several collaborators wanting to make their own personal touches stand out the most. For some reason, it just didn’t sit right.
…there must be something going wrong…
This is not to say that the album is not good. It is. There are some interesting, clearly well made tracks, that I have listened to several times. Desensitized (track, not album) TripB and Minus Humans were really great listens, and I have to say that if I was reviewing them as individual singles, then my praise would be far less sparse. But sadly, this is not the case. Instead there are far too many tracks that sound like they should be the Boss Level on and on 90’s console game. If that’s the theme that was being targeted, then great! But for a progressive band to do a rehash of something that you now hear when you’re playing something retro, then there must be something going wrong.
Reading this review back so far, I feel that I may have been overly harsh. Some may say that it’s my personal tastes that disengage me from the genre, whereas others may say that in order to fully appreciate the music, you must be in the right environment, and some may simply say my opinions are wrong. Perhaps that may be the case, but allow me first to say this. I am not saying this is a bad album. I’m not saying that there is nothing on it worth listening to. What I am saying is that when I have it on in the background – and this, I feel, is the epitome of whether an album works or not – I feel the need to press skip far too often. And this is coming from the man that skips from Rage Against The Machine to Nick Drake in his Playlist.