Delica-M - Hyperstimulus
Synthpop First, a disclaimer: Synthpop is a little outside of my normal day-to-day listening. It's not that I don't like what I've heard, it's just that my tastes tend toward the harsher side of the sonic spectrum. So, when I got the chance to review the 2009 'Hyperstimulus' album from Delica-m, I went out and listened to some other synthpop acts to make sure I had at least some understanding of what good synthpop is supposed to sound like; not surprisingly, there's plenty of good, catchy music out there and I liked a lot of what I heard.

What Delica-m does on 'Hyperstimulus' is not good. Herm, the primary vocalist for the group, has an extremely limited range but doesn't seem to realize it. It's out of tune singing all over the place, which works fine for some genres, but it's just maddening in this context. I don't know if people are just afraid to tell him, "Look, man. I like you and all, but you?you gotta stop trying to sing. It hurts my ears and my feelings," or what. There are short bits throughout the album where Herm's vocals work OK, particularly when he stops trying to sing and goes into a spoken word presentation, like the chorus of "Never Be Me". On the chorus of that song, his rhythm is good, and when he's not trying to move outside of his range, he's got a nice, dark voice. Even there, it still goes awry with some sort of layered vocal thing going on with Emily, who's listed as a a temporary member of the group, chanting beneath his chorus; it doesn't work.

Emily's voice, which is the focus on "Better Believe This", is really quite nice. She can sing well and her tone is well-suited for this material. The beats are interesting, and generally the bass lines are OK. But Delica-M seem to frequently go far, far wrong in their choice of lead sounds. The sweeping lead line that comes in at the end of the "Your Taste In Men" is just like a poke in the ear with a sharp stick, and on "Better Believe This", the synth lead that pops in and out of the song doesn't blend well with the rest of the track. Similarly, "Glimpse" features yet another synth lead that pops in randomly like a surprise icepick to the eardrum. Weirdly, there's some interesting guitar riffs and stuff that happen here and there, but then, "Surprise! We're going to try and lobotomize you with our synth!" Lobotosynth?that about sums up what frequently happens with their leads.

By the end of the 4th track, I was done with this album. I don't know if the group could get better if they kept working at it, or if they should go off and do something new like write a word processing application or something. But I'm not here to review 40% of an album, so I forged on through.
"Ego Games" starts off with a rock vibe, including some weird choices for riffs; the song sounds like an attempt at sounding like Nine Inch Nails like from the "The Downward Spiral" era, but it just fails. It's abysmal, but sadly it doesn't cross over into "so bad it's awesome" territory. The guitar playing on this one and "Residue" are the worst sort of amateurish. It's as if someone was really good at Guitar Hero and decided their prowess there would translate into talent on a real instrument. Protip: it doesn't.

The last track, "Barely Got Out" is outstanding only because its title accurately sums up how I feel about making it through this album. I survived the lobotosynth attack. I need a drink.
1
Brutal Resonance

Delica-M - Hyperstimulus

1.0
"Kill it with fire"
N/A
Electroracle
Released 2009 by Radio-Active-Music
First, a disclaimer: Synthpop is a little outside of my normal day-to-day listening. It's not that I don't like what I've heard, it's just that my tastes tend toward the harsher side of the sonic spectrum. So, when I got the chance to review the 2009 'Hyperstimulus' album from Delica-m, I went out and listened to some other synthpop acts to make sure I had at least some understanding of what good synthpop is supposed to sound like; not surprisingly, there's plenty of good, catchy music out there and I liked a lot of what I heard.

What Delica-m does on 'Hyperstimulus' is not good. Herm, the primary vocalist for the group, has an extremely limited range but doesn't seem to realize it. It's out of tune singing all over the place, which works fine for some genres, but it's just maddening in this context. I don't know if people are just afraid to tell him, "Look, man. I like you and all, but you?you gotta stop trying to sing. It hurts my ears and my feelings," or what. There are short bits throughout the album where Herm's vocals work OK, particularly when he stops trying to sing and goes into a spoken word presentation, like the chorus of "Never Be Me". On the chorus of that song, his rhythm is good, and when he's not trying to move outside of his range, he's got a nice, dark voice. Even there, it still goes awry with some sort of layered vocal thing going on with Emily, who's listed as a a temporary member of the group, chanting beneath his chorus; it doesn't work.

Emily's voice, which is the focus on "Better Believe This", is really quite nice. She can sing well and her tone is well-suited for this material. The beats are interesting, and generally the bass lines are OK. But Delica-M seem to frequently go far, far wrong in their choice of lead sounds. The sweeping lead line that comes in at the end of the "Your Taste In Men" is just like a poke in the ear with a sharp stick, and on "Better Believe This", the synth lead that pops in and out of the song doesn't blend well with the rest of the track. Similarly, "Glimpse" features yet another synth lead that pops in randomly like a surprise icepick to the eardrum. Weirdly, there's some interesting guitar riffs and stuff that happen here and there, but then, "Surprise! We're going to try and lobotomize you with our synth!" Lobotosynth?that about sums up what frequently happens with their leads.

By the end of the 4th track, I was done with this album. I don't know if the group could get better if they kept working at it, or if they should go off and do something new like write a word processing application or something. But I'm not here to review 40% of an album, so I forged on through.
"Ego Games" starts off with a rock vibe, including some weird choices for riffs; the song sounds like an attempt at sounding like Nine Inch Nails like from the "The Downward Spiral" era, but it just fails. It's abysmal, but sadly it doesn't cross over into "so bad it's awesome" territory. The guitar playing on this one and "Residue" are the worst sort of amateurish. It's as if someone was really good at Guitar Hero and decided their prowess there would translate into talent on a real instrument. Protip: it doesn't.

The last track, "Barely Got Out" is outstanding only because its title accurately sums up how I feel about making it through this album. I survived the lobotosynth attack. I need a drink.
Apr 21 2012

Karl Middlebrooks

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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