Sorted magAZine
Album Reviews
FeaturesAlbum ReviewsConcert ReviewsSingle Reviews
Beats per MinuteSordidDistortedIndustry GuideContact UsArchives

Empire State Human - Pop Robot (Ninth Wave)

This ultra-retro synthpop outfit deserves a little more attention than most other ultra-retro synthpop outfits for one reason and one reason only - they're Irish. In line with Sorted's new policy of covering more Irish acts than we have in the recent past, this CD gets a review having sat in the 'to do' pile for months. It should also serve as a warning to anyone who thinks ESH have anything to do with either the nu-electro or futurepop scenes, they very seriously do not. They also have nothing in common with the early Human League material from whence they got their name.

The most prominent thing about ESH is the vocals, simply because they sit on top of a wafer-thin electro backing obviously influenced by Kraftwerk, but sounding more dated. Vocally, they could make Jimmy Somerville sound butch! Fey, whiney vocals singing ridiculous sci-fi lyrics, and it gets worse on 'Film star' with an awful 80s rap that brings 'Wham rap' to mind, brrrr! The version of 'Swinging pendulums' remixed by Wave in the Head is a vague attempt at lifting this stuff from its turgidness, but really, it's such a half-arsed attempt, it would have been better if they hadn't tried.

There are some to whom this will appeal, people who think Depeche Mode's finest hour is that song you can shout "sex" along to, or who think Vince Clarke is a genius and S.P.O.C.K are great fun, but this has nothing to offer in any meaningful sense, just 21 tracks (yes, 21, they've included seven "bonus" tracks to prolong the agony!) of someone whining over painfully bad synth sounds.

Donnacha DeLong

Forum The Sorted magAZine discussion forum is back, just click on the text above.

What's On
Tired of trawling through event listings, 95% of which you have absolutely no interest in? Try ours, it's guaranteed Crap Free TM

Update List
Enter your email address below and click go