February 9, 2006

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She Wants Revenge, She Wants Revenge
Geffen Records, 2006

Ahhh the sweet satisfaction that comes with staying ahead of the musical bell curve.

Bear with my self- satified languishing for a moment.

There. All done.

Why so smug? Well, music trends of late have exonerated my musical tastes. Tastes aquired years before the ankle-biting FNX fans could drive a car. Tastes that are nearly identically shared by the crest of the music world. Perhaps when Interpol and Bloc Party were breaking you heard tell of a little band called Joy Division being cited as their primary infulence. Yeah, I was loving them back when the rest of the country was all atwitter over “grunge.” So now every hot band worships my favorites?

It would seem so as She Wants Revenge ladles on the Joy Division (literally on their radio spin “Tear You Apart,” an obvious lyrical and stylistic homage to Joy Division hit “Love Will Tear Us Apart”). But it doesn’t end there. No sir, Californians Justin Warfield and Adam Bravin, who make up She Wants Revenge, also call forth my two other favorite bands from before you had taste in music: Bauhaus and the Psychedelic Furs. The synth, drum and bass duo manage what scores of black-clad mopesters have failed to do over the past two decades: ressurect Goth music.

Stripping away the oft-embarassing theatrics of goth, She Wants Revenge have brought back the simple, rich, soulful sound of Goth/New Wave greats like Sisters of Mercy and Depeche Mode. They present a balanced mix of dance tracks (“I Don’t Wanna Fall in Love,” “Out of Control” and the spectacular “Broken Promises for Broken Hearts”) with more thoughtful, dim lights and half-empty-wine-bottle style songs (“These Things,” “Us”).

There are moments when a bass line or drum beat will touch a tad heavily on their musical ancestors. Thankfully these are restrained to intros and bridges that add a few dashes of comforting nostalgia to a thuroghly enjoyable debut. One can only hope that more musicians will find earnest inspiration in the great sounds of the early eighties underground. A

— Glenn Given