Music Reviews

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Artist: ASHBURY HEIGHTS
Title: Three Cheers For The Newlydeads
Format: CD
Label: Out Of Line (@)
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
The German label giant Out Of Line signs on a Swedish Synthpop newcomer duo, well, already behind this news there seems to be hidden something special. And indeed, ASHBURY HEIGHTS can be called as being one of the best kept secrets which this relatively stagnant music genre has to offer. Consisting of Anders Hagström and Yasmine Uhlin, this debut album features 15 tracks with a strictly separation of each 5 tracks in a thematically frame of the past, present and future. Musically they present a huge 80ies Romantic/Wave-influence, but their music and the chosen sounds are fresh and right on target. John Fryer has done the production on this album and this fact already speaks for itself. Both, Anders and "Yaz" are sharing mutually the vocals, but they aren’t no longer a couple. They’ve been in the past and this album features several tracks drawing some reminiscences of the gone days ("Waste Of Love", "Smaller", "Corsair", "Cry Havoc"). Some ideal stuff to vanish heartbreak away is richly present, although all of the tracks are rather driving and straight-forward produced to offer a good dancefloor compatibility. With the cold and very mechanical sounding "Illusion" they prove also that they are capable to deal with some slight distortion effects on their synth textures. Best tracks besides the opener "Bare Your Teeth" and the final tune "Eternity At An End" is "Derrick Is A Strange Machine", the only one which fits likewise with the term ballad. Maybe here’s the point in which kind this band could be able to develop – to compose some slow and heart-felting stuff which touches also some sad souls. But anyway, this "Three Cheers For The Newlydeads" is an awesome and catchy-as-hell piece of quality Synthpop-music, and it still doesn’t seem to be clear, how far their train of success will drive. As you know, Out Of Line could lately place several releases like BLUTENGEL, CLIENT or AND ONE in official German sale charts, I therefore like to wish ASHBURY HEIGHTS a similar success.



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