Album Review

Product, The – “Alive Again” – [Dark Entries]

Thurston Hunger   1/10/2013   12-inch, A Library

Dark Entries striking again to the frozen heart of the
cold wave revival, and again looking to Eastern Europe
and looking back 30 years ago. 1983 finds this duo of
Kenneth Neuhaus (employing metronomic drum machines
that twitch, fat synth bass lines, often fuzzed up
beneath super-decayed one-note-at-a-time melodies
from the upper ends of his keyboards) and Dan Stielow
Mortazavi (all vocals). The synth work is pretty stark
and typically moves mordantly, although there are a
couple of mildly dance-y numbers on the A-side in
“The Drowning” and “Do You Believe.” On the latter,
Mortazavi questions “Do You Believe in god”, but it
sounds like in guns in his mildly accented English.
In the same song, 30 years after it was first sung
the line “So many links…so many things…what to
believe” takes on an accidental pearl of URL wisdom.
“Don’t Run Away” on the B-side gallops, “This Killing
Pain” slows down and the rest of the release is pure
dour power. Overall the lyrics lean towards despondency
and the false promise of death/suicide, but Mortazavi’s
vocals are typically sung with romantic gusto. On
“Hands in Hair” his voice is awash in reverb so much
to nearly be seasick with it. In a good way.
-Thurston Hunger

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