Friday, February 24, 2006

I Am The Hunter I Am The Prey

Collide - Some Kind of Strange

I got Collide's second album Chasing the Ghost some time ago and liked it a lot. They're a dark, gothic electronic band with a very good female singer, but underneath the spooky industrial exterior they're a pretty slickly produced act with some real catchy hooks and song writing ability.

The idea behind these kinds of bands is usually that the crunching grinding industrial music and the woman's vocals floating above it will form a pleasing dissonance, but Statik, the man responsible for the backing music, seems to have too much of a pop sensibility to let the music get all that menacing. Vocalist kaRIN (precocious names are par for the course with this genre of music) has a strong but dreamy voice, and the dark music accompanying her combine to create a beautifully ethereal mood. Some of the gentler tracks exhibit this well, the highlight of the album is 'Tempted', which matches a soaring string harmony in a middle eastern sounding key with otherworldly vocals. Another good track is the album closer 'So Long', where the music switches to a major key (while remaining somewhat industrial) and multiple overlapped vocal tracks sing sadly and regretfully. On the heavier side 'Complicated' has an incredibly catchy keyboard riff welded to some low, heavy, Nine Inch Nails-esque rhythm, creating a chorus that will stay in your head for days after hearing it.

The opening hooks of many of the songs are simply some of the best attention grabbing mood setters you'll ever hear, must notably the echoing synth stabs of the opening track 'Crushed' which mutate into one mean guitar riff. And also the aforementioned 'Complicated', which opens with haunting noises that sounded like they've been sampled straight off Einstuerzende Neubauten's 'Boreas'.

Still there is one major criticism I could make and that's that despite the many layered music there isn't a lot of depth to it and it doesn't really reward repeated listening, however the surface is so well put together that I can't really let that stand in the way of my recommendation.

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