Title: A Victory Of Love EP
Genre: Dark Pop
Release Date: 20th September 2019
Label: Reptile Music
Johan Sjöblom takes a break from the day job as co-founder and co-vocalist in Swedish Post-Punk band THE EXPLODING BOY to return to his solo project. Three years ago saw the release of debut ‘6’, this is now followed up with the EP ‘A Victory Of Love’.
The title track is a reworking of the ALPHAVILLE song, from the much loved (at least at the time) album ‘Forever Young’, and it succeeds in modernising and being playful with the sound, without compromising the original. The strident, marching beat is pushed to the foreground and given an almost industrial feel, the vocals darker than in the original, and there’s something decidedly sinister about the whole thing. And when it hits its stride midpoint, with the change in tempo, it really stirs up the drama. Good stuff. Original song ‘Seconds’ has an urgent, pulse to it that sits very comfortably alongside the homage to ALPHAVILLE, showing clearly the timelessness of good, synth pop when it’s properly crafted. Then there are four remixes of tracks from the debut.
Perhaps an additional new track would have been a better move, but no matter - there’s enough here to keep things interesting. ‘Not A Man For You’ skips along merrily enough, dipping a toe or two into ERASURE territory, ‘The Last Call’ is much darker with a punchy chorus and suits the icy-cold touch of ASH CODE, who tamper deliciously with it. ‘The Girl’ wanders about a bit too aimlessly, but final track ‘Oh My Heart’ starts off threatening to be VISAGE, drifts nicely into JOHN FOXX atmospherics and vocals before things build nicely into a mix of every great 80’s synth band there ever was. All shoulder-padded arrogance and over-dramatic bleakness. Wonderful.
As a side order to THE EXPLODING BOY, SJÖBLOM provides its creator with an outlet for his obvious love of all things long gone. But when it’s done this well, what’s not to love? I think we need an album now…
01. A Victory Of Love
03. Not A Man For You (Shameless 3030)
04. The Last Call (Ash Code Remix)
05. The Girl (Luc Stargazer Remix)
06. Oh My Heart (Vive La Fete Remix)
https://sjoblom.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/sjoblomofficial
Total: 8 / 10