My ongoing project to highlight the increasing influence of electronic music on the Glasgow music scene means that it is impossible for me to ignore Analog Angel surely the city's most prolific electronic band of the last few years. The band actually started life as Dr Strangelove in the late 1980's before a lengthy sabbatical was brought to a conclusion when a keen You Tube viewer found and put up the video for all to see. Following a great response to the video the band reformed as Analog Angel and have since put out two albums, a remix ep and the Pride ep and have also built up a sizable live not only in Scotland but throughout Europe. A full interview with Derek, Ian and lead singer John Brown will follow on here soon but as a prelude to that I thought a full review of the Pride ep would whet appetites.
Pride is a 7 track ep available at a bargain price of £3.50 from the band's website and ITunes. The lead track is We Won't Walk Away and it's my favourite here. It's a 5 minute synthpop classic with a main OMD style riff propelled along by an almost New Order like bass that immediately grabs the attention. There's a lovely arpeggiated part running through the track too and as with all Analog Angel songs, John's vocals are front and centre giving the song the band's trademark sound. Analog Angel's previous releases were far more industrial than this and given that their impressive live reputation has been built on that sound, We Won't Walk Away is a brave departure. If anything however the song will only increase their fan base. Not Alone is the next track mixing Yazoo era Vince Clarke synths with a Douglas McCarthy style vocal with some success. Let It Show follows again displaying to these ears a definite Vince Clarke influence this time more towards his early Erasure works. Track 4 is The Temple which is far harder than the first three tracks and puts me in mind of DAF or Nitzer Ebb. This is Analog Angel going back towards their industrial past but mixing it with an early 80's EBM feel. That's not to say that this is a retro sounding track - far from it. It's a modern take on that DAF sound. Lyrically it puts me in mind of Depeche's Construction Time Again which is no bad thing at all. Next up we have They Don't Understand in which a Dave Gahan esque vocal by John (again no bad thing) is propelled along by some great electronica displaying a mix of styles including once again a clear Vince Clarke influence. Before a hoard of Erasure fans descend on the band expecting to find the new Love To Hate You (!) I should say that when I say a Vince influence I mean in the use of sounds and space within the music. The production here is very impressive. Eternal is the next track and is the hardest sounding track here mixing the Nitzer Ebb/EDM sound with an almost Alan Wilder in his darkest Recoil moments feel. Very powerful stuff. To finish up we have Feel Me which is perhaps the weakest track here although that is not a criticism of it as such - the other 6 tracks are tough to beat and Feel Me only suffers in comparison.
Analog Angel have also commissioned a number of remixes of We Won't Walk Away all of which can be found on their Facebook page. Do check them out as there are some cracking remixes. There are more to come too including one from my band Western Electric. We have a lot to live up to!
Overall, Pride is an excellent ep and given that it's only £3.50 you really should get it. It's a great introduction to the band and once you've absorbed it go and check out their albums Dischord and The Thin Line (Between Love and Hate). All info is available on their website. There's much more to come from the band in the future with the new album in its' final stages and an increasingly hectic live schedule including a hugely impressive headline show at the recent BAS festival. Watch Analog Angel - they're only going to get bigger
Analog Angel website http://www.analog-angel.com/fr_welcome.cfm