Who Are We Anymore – Siblings of Us (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

21271155_820145798167014_1758449077556205288_nWho indeed. Perhaps the sort of people who wilfully mix warped Bee Gees doing hard-disco with Vangelis-esque cinematic electronica? Maybe they are those sort of people who love the synth-pop of the post-punk period and wish to see it given a new lease of life for a whole new generation of ears. Certainly they are people who are happy to title their latest e.p. with a question and then deliberately leave off the question mark. Nothing good can ever come of that I can tell you.

But Synth Wave, New Wave Retro, Future Synth, call it what you will, might have its roots in the experiments of ex-punks bored with blues-based guitar possibilities who rewired broken keyboards and bent them to their will, but it has had a whole life of its own since then. Affordable equipment, digital developments and home studios have meant that the possibilities for such music are endless and far from looking back at the formative years, Siblings of Us find themselves very much at the front of a musical charge into the harsh halogen light of a new musical day.

Neon Lungs bursts with confidence and muscle, it is anthemic and stadium ready, euphoric and brilliantly dynamic and acts as the perfect centre-piece for this mercurial collection. Opening salvo, Iocaine, not only reveals their love of iconic fantasy films but acts as a great calling card for what is to follow and Saints on Break is a sort of electro-pop-soul number…if electro-pop-soul was made by renegade car plant robots, in the far future using a strange blend of hypnotic industrial grooves and otherworldly vocals.

We The British American seems the closest Siblings come to being in the here and now rather than their usual predilections for predicting the sound of the future or reviving the sound of the past, being more grounded…but it’s all relative and it may be a while before they replace the likes of Beyonce as mainstream club floor fare…more’s the pity.

If you think that Electronic Dance Music has found its level, that maybe it has nowhere left to go, Siblings of Us are your next lesson. I guess that there are a number of bands pushing the electro envelope at the moment, but how many of them are able to juggle disco, electro-rock, future dance, cinematic film score, progressive pop, futuristic Broadway bombast and heady stadium-dance…often in the space of one track. Who could do all of that? Who Indeed.

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