Label: 23db Records
I don't review my friends’ albums merely because they are my friends. Their music has to really had to stand out if I'm going to write anything about it. Take that how you will. Anyway, "Between Noise and Transmission" is a tasty little treat that should appeal to those into stuff like Melotron, Assemblage 23, Depeche Mode, Cleen/Cleaner, Battery and other bands of that nature. Though Tom Shear of A23 fame produced and mixed this album, I'd like to note that the only track that has a bit of that A23 sound is the first one, "Fallen", and it's good enough on it's own that it really doesn't matter if it's got the "Tom Touch" (that sounds... creepy... sorry, Tom) or not. By the next song, "Twilight", anyone will be able to tell that they're in for a real powerhouse of a musical offering. Seriously, kids, I didn't expect it to be THIS good. Really, it's just what I look for musically.
"Between Noise and Transmission" has got it all: groovy dance music; thought-provoking, well-written lyrics; a nice mix of vocal styles, especially with the female vox ("Untruth" standing out in that department; very cool); complex and engaging musical programming that doesn't seem sterile or boring; and it's memorable, which is a nice change for this musical scene. This album has a terrific team involved, so kudos to them all for doing such a wonderful job.
I've seen and heard places before regarding comparisons to Underworld. I can understand, kinda, but I sure wish Underworld was as interesting as SD6, then I might listen to them more (apologies to hardcore Underworld fans out there... I like them, a lot even, but much of their music I barely remember). Not that it's bad to be compared to Underworld or anything, I just think it's not wholly accurate.
All in all, this first SD6 offering is very, very good. Yeah, no new musical ground is broken as it doesn't scream with originality, but "Between Noise and Transmission" doesn't need to explore too much new territory. In a world where good synth-pop-EBM is dominated by European acts, it's nice to hear a band that can step up to the plate like Assemblage 23 and Imperative Reaction have and hold their own.
I highly recommend this to all fans of fun, thoughtful and interesting 80's pop influenced "body music". No, really, go out and buy it. I did, and I don't regret a single penny. You won't either. Now, Brandon, Jess and Nicole... Get working on the next one!