Wires & Lights are a relatively new band from Berlin, Germany, and the album at hand, A Chasm Here And Now, is their first long player. What’s it like? Well, the press info is all in superlatives. And no, that’s not always the case. So let’s see if some of the praise is actually true.
If I didn’t know were Wires & Lights are from, Germany would have been my first guess. First of all, there is the unmistakable accent in the vocals, but more importantly, the sound of A Chasm Here And Now is an audible continuation of other bands from Germany.
Regarding influences, Kraftwerk are the first band that would have to be mentioned. There is Kraftwerk’s cold, detached electronic sound to be heard in many a place on A Chasm Here And Now. Fellow Berliners and industrial pioneers Einstürzende Neubauten are also an obvious inspiration, but so are synth pop outfits like Alphaville and Camouflage. From all of this, Wires & Lights have created as sound that is best described as gothy post punk or mild goth rock. It is very listenable, danceable even, melodic – and a bit tame. Where is the gaping chasm?
The mood ranges from the characteristic pessimism and blackness of goth rock, to the I’ve-seen-it-all attitude of post punk. 24H, for example, is a song about escapism, or the wish of being left alone, at least for twenty-four hours, whereas Sleepers describes a constantly growing number of people, who go through life like automatons.
Overall, the album displays skilful song writing, the album’s opener Drive certainly has the potential to become an earworm. However, with clearly audible influences, the music sometimes appears a bit generic. The guitarwork is therefore my favourite element in the mix and worth pointing out, because it adds individuality.
What I like very much are the band’s black and white aesthetics, as displayed in the photography accompanying releases, but also in the video to the track Swimming.
A Chasm Here And Now is a promising debut, with Wires & Lights being yet another band rediscovering their love for goth and darkwave. Fine with me. Keep ‘em coming.