Bred from the seeds of eighties post punk and synth pop, the Model Depose sound has only nurtured and forged its own identity since the Netherland band’s first release back in 2013 and within new album, Damage Control, has cast its richest individuality and temptation yet.
The Groningen hailing outfit openly bear their inspirations on their creative sleeves with maybe a Depeche Mode influence the strongest yet they have increasingly been woven into the commanding imagination of the band. Damage Control though is most unique offering from the quartet yet. Certainly across its tapestry of flavours embracing dark and new wave, indie pop and post rock among many to that post punk/electro pop core certain shadow wrapped moments and electronic breaths sparked thoughts of the likes of Marc Almond, Editors, Modern English, Dead Register and the original Human League alongside Dave Gahan and co, yet every track rose to share its own rare presence of familiarity and uniqueness.
Damage Control opens up with Wights and quickly had attention secured as the rich vocals of Roeland van der Velde stepped forward within an electronic shimmering. An emotive lining to his tones are echoed in the synth shared melodies of Mariët Gast and the almost nagging jingle of Jobbe Holtes’ guitar, the song in no time an eager captivation. Their warm lures though are courted by dark shadows, bassist David Bos prowling their intimation as thicker and increasing drama marries every note and syllable. It is an enthralling almost haunting beginning to the album, its grip on the imagination already in place and only tightened thereon in.
Stranger follows and equally has melancholy for company as van der Velde again immediately impresses. There is a fire in the song’s dark belly though which without truly igniting gives it energy and intensity, the former ensnaring hips and the latter an emotive engagement. By its finale, its Depeche Mode-esque catchiness is in full swing yet without defusing its darkened breath.
The album’s title track follows and immediately had the body bouncing with its eager bold rhythms and the scything strikes of guitar behind again the rich invitation of vocals. The song is pure esurient contagion getting under the skin in no time and using body and spirit like a puppet as electronic and indie rock textures collude and roar in defiance. A definite favourite song contender it is quickly matched by the darkly lit virulence of Red Alert. There is a Muse like tint to the song, its evocative almost dissonant thoughts and breath united with instinctive rock ‘n’ roll catchiness which itself has something of She Wants Revenge to it.
Through the crepuscular but inflamed serenade of Blackstar and the light of magnetism that is Cold War, there was no loosening of the album’s hold on ear and pleasure. The second of the two features the guest vocals of Groningen-based singer/songwriter FENN and her duet with van der Velde is worth the admission fee alone while their successor, Drawing the Line, brings an electro rock incitement which again had body and imagination doing its contagious bidding. It is another which makes a firm claim for favourite album moment, the track sheer temptation from first to last second.
#Dancelikenooneiswatching has an electro punk sneer to its synth pop calling, the track predominately a slice of rock dexterity smouldering with a host of other spices and quite addictive while the riveting Yesterday’s Gloom is a tenebrific croon with tempestuousness in its heart and intensity. Both tracks epitomise the diversity of sound within Damage Control but equally the unity of the Model Depose breath and craft to ear catching enterprise.
The album concludes with the pair of 03:00Am and bonus track Bombs Are Falling, the first an atmospherically evocative seduction within a sunless yet beguiling landscape and the second a gripping post-traumatic stress themed expression of power, intensity and magnetic craft.
Together they provide a potent end to a striking release, one which with its influences fits in with the eighties scene many of those inspirations come from but is firmly as fresh and adventurous as anything within the electronic /indie rock landscape Damage Control now lights up.
Damage Control is out now through Trisol Music Group across most stores.
Pete RingMaster 22/10/2019
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