Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Danse Society - Seduction (The Society Collection)

Danse Society are a kind of comedy, electro Goth that sounds like the version of Goth that the Mighty Boosh might come up with given a couple of keyboards, guitars and some very big hair. If you don't believe me, let's take a look at the ingredients: Discordant guitars - check! Dramatic singer, booming voice, pronouncing his words very properly - check! Synth-tastic atmospherics - check! A drummer about to collapse from pounding the drums so much - check! VERY SERIOUS song titles with slightly disappointing lyrics - check! Throbbing bass - check! Black clothes - check! Dry ice - check! (see video posted above for proof)
That's not honesty, that's delusion
There feels to be a lot of love in this collection, even if it does not always quite hit the heights of musical genius, with singles from 1981-1983 released by the band through the Society label. Neither are there any huge surprises here if you have been paying attention to all those electroclash 80s throwbacks well the template basically starts here. 'Clock' starts powerfully enough and continues in the same vein with a simple chiming guitar riff over driving percussion, the singer pronouncing Must get 'Motivation before they stop the clock' which suggests that he must be having the same day at work as I am. 'Continent' goes darkly sci-fi before launching itself into a stomping rhythm, undermined by the disturbing, whispered vocals.
In your nightmares we're all so happy
The stop-start staccato opening of 'These Frayed Edges' segues into a more conventional rock outing, the repetition of 'frayed edges' suggests the want of a more convincing chorus - although the throwaway line about the 'from the future' is what got me thinking about the Boosh in the first place and their future Electro Sailors. They do like a dramatic opener and 'We're so Happy' does not disappoint - the sound of thunder announces its arrival, building to a crescendo with the stamp of synth and drums, when (hopefully) the singer throws away his cape and reaches into the air as he sings forth the first note - yep, it's that kind of song. Yet something seems to hold DS back, perhaps the tempo is a bit sludgy and despite the promises of triumph it never really gets off the ground. 'Women's Own' takes clattering saucepans as inspiration, a sly nod to the housewife's choice of magazine? 'Ambition' 's long, ponderous opening eventually explodes into a decent stab at melodrama, and whilst 'Danse/Move' is another attempt at greatness it unfortunately fails to set the dancefloor alight but we might at least see it smoulder.
That's not love, that's confusion
An album, then, of not-quite-getting-there, yet endearing with it.

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