Night Slaves

Reviews

Night Slaves Three and a Half LP

I admire a band whose sound perplexes me on the first listen. I’ve heard a lot of records in my life so it’s not usually the case. This LP has a slick sound while managing to be lo-fi. There is a SQUEEZE-meets-NINE INCH NAILS vibe which makes me chuckle. It’s an interesting combination. A poppy piano style with high, monotonous vocals and harmonies backed with a drum machine, electronics and a repetitive chorus. It’s pretentious while also being laid back. Then the last song “Bag” does a 180 and goes for an upbeat, dance-y, almost commercial sound. Touché.

Night Slaves III LP

Ten somber, atmospheric epics that rarely clock in at less than four minutes, yet hold my attention the whole way through. A common-enough denominator—though nowhere near the whole picture—might be some of DEPECHE MODE’s slowest points, with even more sparse percussion for the most part. A few songs are driven by melancholy organ, with a choir of soulful backups to match, while others by (electric) piano or fuzzy synth. The vocalist has a distinct baritone, and the main instrumentalist, David Kane, started making electronic music in the late ’70s, but except for the aforementioned synth, most of the electronics here are part of the ambiance rather than in the foreground. That these intricate and moving songs were created mostly by two people is an even greater accomplishment.