Artist: Slave Republic
Title: Quest For Love
Genre: Synth Pop
Release Date: 15th February 2013
Label: Accession Records
When SLAVE REPUBLIC debuted with their album 'Electric One' in 2010, they already stuck out from the rest. Their electronic Pop sounded more like “Indie band goes Synth Pop” rather than the usual stuff appreciated among DEPECHE MODE fans and Goth crowds. And for a debut, 'Electronic One' sounded pretty perfect. Thanks to the production skills of Olaf Wollschläger, who has worked with acts like IN STRICT CONFIDENCE, PARADISE LOST or MELOTRON before, but also thanks great song-writing and a fist full of irresistibly catchy songs. In fact, SLAVE REPUBLIC weren't newbies any more when they released their debut. Formed as a quartet in the 1990s and influenced by acts like SISTERS OF MERCY or ALIEN SEX FIEND, the German band reunited in 2007 as a duo with their first release three years later.
The chances are good that 'Quest For Love' will get the attention the debut album already would have deserved. This time it is Daniel Myer (HAUJOBB, ARCHITECT, ex-COVENANT and several more projects) in the producer's chair, and his marvellous production expertise makes 'Quest For Love' another perfect sound experience. And the songs are just as catchy and compelling than on the first album, if not even more so! SLAVE REPUBLIC know how to write a brilliant hook, and singer Alec Fu's resonant voice serves the songs perfectly. He just has the right balance between drama and coolness. 'Paint My Black Heart' with its beefy beats and anthem-like chorus is an excellent introduction to 'Quest For Love', and luckily the rest of the album does not fall short of the opener.
The album is a feast for all Synth Pop lovers, especially if you have a heart for SONO, NORTHERN LITE, M83 or LADYTRON rather than the next-door DEPECHE MODE wannabes. It's a little difficult to highlight specific songs because in the end all of them would deserve a mention. Special credits go to 'Primärreiz', which features DIORAMA's Torben Wendt as an additional singer. 'Primärreiz' is one of the few fully electronic songs here, with a pumping bass line which lifts classic DAF to the 21st century just to be refined with the typical SLAVE REPUBLIC Pop flavour. In most other songs, the pumping and yet fluid electro grooves and crystalline synth sounds are spiced up with cleverly applied guitar hooks and bass lines. The album is closed by its title track, a song which stands out because it's the only piano ballad in this collection of songs. But as a bonus you get three remixes of album tracks by TONKOLLEGIUM, Belgian EBM heroes ABSOLUTE BODY CONTROL and Daniel Myer himself.
'Quest For Love' is a perfect album and my only (and admittedly minor) gripe is that it sounds even too perfect at times, if this makes sense. I know I'll be in a minority here but I wish there were a few more edges here and there but I'm sure most people will prefer the clean and super-polished sound of 'Quest of Love'. However, it's an album well worth buying as it offers you ten absolute gems of songs which surely do not need to fear the comparison with the international premier league of Pop!
01. Paint My Heart Black
02. Walking Ghost
05. Fall Asleep
06. Lovers’ Suicide
07. Promises and Broken Hearts
08. Lashes Kiss
09. Menage à Trois
10. Quest for Love
11. Paint My Heart Black (Tribute Horn Remix by Daniel Myer)
12. Primärreiz (Absolute Body Control Remix)
13. Promises and Broken Hearts (Tonkollegium Club Remix)
Alec Fu (vocals, guitar)
Alex Alice (programming, bass)
http://www.slave-republic.com / https://www.facebook.com/SlaveRepublic.Official
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIN1K4vmSMg / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVpVl3epuek
Total: 9.5 / 10