OK peeps if you like 80’s movies, Stranger Things, keytars, wind machines, Giorgio Moroder and neon then stick around. If things have to be straight up metal with devils and doom all the time you may want to keep on walking. This is the Lost Boys turning up at the nightclub in Terminator with some Synth Wave geeks from Miami in tow. You get me?
Opening track “Hello Emptiness” see’s the German electro rockers set out the stall gently. It is still reminiscent of Cyber Dog before they moved to their tourist swallowing strip lit hell. It reminds me a little of the Rasmus played with less guitars and more synth. “Dry Your Eyes” that follows has a keys line that is lifted straight from War of the Worlds. I was expecting Richard Burton to pop up. Instead it is Euro/American crooning that is layered on. I am sure I have heard this on a horror film borrowed for a quid if you take it back the same day at Blockbusters back in the 80’s. I know we have just Brexited but I didn’t think I would feel so out of touch with our cousins across the sea so quickly . It is like Depeche Mode and Throbbing Gristle never happened.
“Addicted” is annoying. Like Bryan Adams without the Canadian balls and with extra wind machine. Take your six string back to the 5 and dime son and your mate can trade in the Casio while you are there.
I am a sucker for Jan Hammer electro drum sound though so “Confronted” drags me in and would probably do so onto a dance floor – I would expect Shannon Tween to be waiting there with her dress accidentally falling off whilst Gene Simmons seethed off camera. This is so cheesy my arteries are hardening through my ear lugs. This one is kinda fun. Maybe I am being brainwashed? Is the synthholm syndrome? I start to get my Erasure on with Enemy. It has a great camp Heaven vibe at the beginning and even the rocky bits here are nice and feather boa’y. OK I would be top off dancing about covered in glitter to this. Drop the faux rock bits and it would be a killer track. The rock bits are a little Lordi (which isn’t necessarily bad) “I tried so hard to be your friend. I tried so hard to be your man!” I can see folk belting that out from a float at Pride. It’s a real foot stomper.
There is meant to be swagger in Rock n Roll Star but it is more of a symphonic Power Metal number. Bit like Stratovarius with cowbell. Hmm. Where is the campness? “Far” surprises me with it’s almost post hardcore soaring start. It quickly fades back into Platinum Blonde meets AHA playing tracks to a 17 year old girl who likes Bon Jovi. What time does this movie have to be back at the shop? Have I still got time to get Basket Case out? That looks good. “Anybody Out There “ sounds like there is one of Paul McCartney’s bull frogs providing the back beat.
At last some epic synthwave I think as Push gets going. Little bit Futurecop! Little bit Lebrock. Proper Outrun playing music. This is the way A Life Divided. Put away your denim jackets. Get the shades and fingerless gloves on and stick to this. Yeah baby! See you in Miami!
The wind machine and dragons return on “Servant” which is a shame whereas there is a real slice of Corey Hart on “The Ordinary” and it makes me want to wear my Sunglasses at Night whilst “Circles” takes a synth line from that track but turns it into a Eurovision electropop monster. Like a bizarre Chimera of Bucks Fizz and Lordi. Make your mind up if that floats your boat.
The final track has an early Depeche Mode vibe – Speak and Spell era and makes me yearn for a Basildon dance floor to chase high heeled ladies round. Unfortunately the boys decide to rock out once more and my groove is torpedoed. Tora Tora Tora!
A Life(Divided) appear to this listener as a band divided. One half want to be pure unadulterated synthpop whilst the other wants to be espadrille wearing yacht rock. I know which one I prefer but you may like the mixture.
(5/10 for the bloody excellent synth bits Matt Mason)