Album: Redux – Heartwerk v2 LE
Bred from the popularity of VNV Nation and its futurepop competitor, Assemblage 23, a plague of similar sound-alike futurepop bands have descended onto the scene in a fashion that was only ever (wrongly) attributed to the range of Skinny Puppy/FLA/Nine Inch Nails copycats. But in the case of futurepop, as the electronic pop branch left dangling from the body of industrial has been named by VNV headmaster Ronan Harris to avoid contaminating his music with connection to the underground, there are more and more sound-alikes appearing every day. And the great similarity between the tone, style, arrangement, vocal style and treatment of all these bands leaves you feeling as if you’ve heard the same song 60 times over. It takes a very special band to catch your attention and break apart from the pack.
Dekoy could very well be a band apart from the futurepop pack. They aren’t yet. They may never be. But if they play their cards right and keep an open mind, musically, then they might yet be rewarded.
Dekoy plays against the usual elektro stereotypes by breaking up the monotonous dance beats with a darker atmosphere, a bit more experimentation, and a touch of the bleak-but-chirpy harsh-EBM that bands like Suicide Commando and :wumpscut: dole out, though in very limited, subliminal form. And it’s good to see the typical dance beats broken up by changes and experimental flourishes. It gives the music a little more character than it might normally possess.
The flaw that I see in the music is in the style of the vocals. The very light, untreated vocals speak to a very synthpop mentality, but it doesn’t seem to do much to move the music. If anything, it seems that a less dry vocal style, something actually sung from the heart and the gut, would tie in with the music better and move the audience in a much better way. I can say it is a nice break from over-effected vocals, but I’d prefer something that sounds a bit less like Morrissey and more like a human being.
All in all, the production is well-done, a fine effort for a young band. The songs move well enough before blurring into each other by using the consistent and dry vocal style and many of the same synthesizer sounds, over and over again. In addition, the relative lack of any real BPM changes between the tracks makes for a “haven’t I heard this before?” experience.
With more effort to make the songs a bit more varied and vocals that attempt to be a bit more earnest, moving, or even slightly emotional, Dekoy might yet be listed amongst those that stand ahead of the pack. But, for now, they still have to hurry to keep up.
from ReGen Magazine (~4/2004)