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Dark Room Notes
Live review...
Dark Room Notes
On first sight this is slightly unpromising, for it appears we've walked into a very authentic Def Leppard tribute act as this evening's drummer has one arm in a very fetching red velvet sling. As it transpires this is only temporary for the poor chap has broken his fingers but the show must go on. Unfortunately this does handicap his performance slightly, but it's a sterling effort nevertheless - full marks for dedication.

Oh, and just to confirm this is Dark Room Notes, a combo from down Mexico way making their debut appearance up here, and hauling up the motorway a load of synthy sleazepop 80s stuff in the veins of New Order, Depeche Mode, The Human League, and all those usual suspects. This seems to be the sound du jour down there, as, along with the likes of Humanzi, Cowboy X, and Disconnect 4, we've seen several of these revivalists attempting to convert us in recent time. DRN seem to be a little more authentic, although their stage presence is somewhat normal (wearing jeans and tops rather than the usual outlandish monochrome outfits favoured by the genre).

At their best they evoke Ladytron and Nine Inch Nails, people who have been influenced by the 80s rather than being copies of their musical heroes, particularly their harder tracks such as 'Each and Every One Of Us', as their quieter efforts feel a bit washed out and lacking in drive, and are in danger of drifting towards commercial dance. Their beats are, by indie standards, relatively interesting, but they do have the problem of a lot of guitar and synth bands that their dancier elements aren't up to scratch in terms of dance music, particularly when they try to integrate it with vocals. 'Shake, Shake My Ceiling' recalls The Bravery, but closing track 'Let's Light Fires' has a cool little desperate riff, and is prime for remixing, sounding like a lost New Order track.

We should wait and see what develops in this Dark Room.

William Johnston

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Gig Details
Venue: Auntie Annies
Location: Belfast
Date: 22/5/2009

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