Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The Ropes - Post-entertainment

Album review by bloopie@thesoundofconfusion.co.uk

It seems to me there are too many musicians who try to emulate the work of commercially successful bands, shaping their sound to appeal to a larger audience rather than take risks and be creative. Thankfully, this is not the case with The Ropes, a New York-based duo that blend richly-layered, aggressively-distorted soundscapes with poetic lyrics. Listening through an album without feeling like I've heard it all before is not to be taken for granted. 'Post-entertainment', offered on a generous pay-what-you-want model, features nine tracks lush with dreamy reverb, heavily bitcrushed synthesizers and electric guitars in overdrive.

The icy lyrics, embracing detachment and criticism of society, are in one mind with the musical vision - cold but not soulless. Most of the songs interweave airy dreampop/synth-pop with a juicy industrial-esque punch. 'Ice Cube in an Ocean' sounds a bit like Ladytron, but is purposely drowned with distortion as if to not stray too far into sweetness. 'Black All Day, Bright All Night', a track Crystal Castles would be proud to call their own, is craftily mixed and sounds very glossy in comparison with the other tracks.

'Hey Faggot' is such a different animal with its use of the acoustic guitar and poignant lyrics, and really shines through as an example of the group's diversity. The subsequent 'Windows of Windows of Windows' oozes that indie-summer-hit feel with beautiful simplicity. I would describe this stuff as Ladytron meets Garbage, peppered with crunchier beats a-la The Raveonettes, but I believe The Ropes have found their own niche here and I would be surprised if this album didn't prove to be a stepping stone towards further recognition for them.

The Ropes' website

Stream or buy the album

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