April 27, 2006

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Backlash, Heliotrope
Wtii Records, 2006

As Depeche Mode archaeologists go, Backlash prove themselves capable of faithfully maintaining the original aesthetic and retrofitting it with sufficient futurepop advancements to front a viable mainstream assault. A surprising record, this was first made available in 2004 through import scalpers and has just now been forked over to Wtii for wide US release. Would have been nice had these fellows gone with some vocals that weren’t in great need of a 12-step David Gahan program, and their bread-and-butter song “Lodestar” (on which their last EP fixated, to the tune of four lackluster remixes) takes quite a few listens to stick, but it turns out the band had far better stuff up their sleeves, such as the album’s eponymous track (a droid-love-fest that would make both Steve Winwood and Teardrop Explodes feel no small amount of parental pride) and “Purity For a Sinner” (a kindly electro-bubble number colored in Enya shades at the intro). B
— Eric W. Saeger


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