Of Mice & Men
The Mo Club, Southampton, UK - 16/4
Lovesongs For The Dead
Written by: HES on 06/03/2013 22:41:02
We all know musical flashbacks. A song comes on and suddenly you’re lapsing back to a certain point in time by the sound of a song that reminds you of a certain era of your life. Well, when listening to “Lovesongs For The Dead” I experienced something like that, but more of a musical déjà vu. The difference between the two is that I had never heard the record before, but for some reason it seemed like something I’d experienced before. So I went sniffing around the internet, and all the sudden I realized why I had this feeling. “Vega Nova” is actually the more electronically inspired side-project Jeppe Christensen and Jesper Thilsted, who sing and play bass/guitar respectively in the highly esteemed Danish electro-metal group, Raunchy. “Vega Nova” was founded already in 2008 as a hobby-project for the two, but has now become a fully-functional two-piece band. However, don’t believe them if they try to tell you that they’re a completely new thing; they are way more “offspring” than “related family member”.
Alright so, what’s the difference between Raunchy and Vega Nova if they’re so alike? The classic metallic vocal elements are gone, no growling, no squeaking and only clean, popish vocal provided by Jeppe Christensen. There’s also more focus on the vocals and it’s clearly the primary drive of the album. The guitar, even though very inspired by their former genre, is also toned down. However this is definitely one of the elements that add to my musical déjà vu. The band was originally supposed to only use electronically recorded drums. And this is the breaking point, where the band ends up sitting between two chairs. Instead of just adding drums to the mix, they decided to go with full-on double-pedals and metal-style drums. This makes the songs seem very confused and you can almost hear how this was a last minute decision. It makes “Lovesongs For The Dead” seem like a tooth-less, scraped version of Raunchy and it reminds me of the Sesame Street-song “One of these things are not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong”.
The synth and other more electronic elements are also greatly inspired by the close-by industrial and industrial metal genre. However it never really becomes one or the other. When you look at bands who in recent years have managed to bring something new to electronica-inspired rock, it is the Danish band Veto. Their success mainly depended on their choice of non-obvious electronica elements and introducing this into the rock genre. But one of my main problems with “Lovesongs For The Dead” is that it does not in any shape or form commit something new to the genre or leave the safety blanket of Raunchy. Many remember the amazing mash-up of Justin Bieber and Slipknot that finally cemented how pop-ish the actual melodies of that band’s song were. I get the same feeling when listening to “Lovesongs For The Dead”. The very well-written but also very melodic songs have absolutely no counterpart or contrast. Hence the songs end up sounding very “nice” but hence also very dull. It’s like the old H. C. Andersen fairytale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”; they’re not wearing any clothes. There’s not one spot on the execution of the instruments, vocally or anything, but they’ve stripped down the music by taking away different elements, but by not adding new ones the soundscape ends up very bare, lacking personality and direction.
Download: "Daylight", "Please Do This at Home" and "Serene"
For The Fans Of: Raunchy, Never A Hero, Toxic Grind Machine