Xanthippe - Soulstripes
Synthpop Xanthippe is an Austrian Synthpop band, and this release "Soulstripes" was their 3rd album. Released in 2003, the band is since working on their 5th album.

Being a Synthpop band in Austria is career suicide - a fact not lost to Gerhard Paul and Franz Siegl. In an interview, they revealed that it's hard for anything other than Folk bands to break through. Lederhosen and Lutes weren't for them, apparently. Which is a good job. Let's take a look at the Black and White world of "Soulstripes", and try and diagnose where the problem lies.

Not with "Heartro", that's for sure. This Eighty-One second trap is an adorable, progressive, and tuneful intro that might as well be the Kundalini ascending, as you achieve Godhead. (Or whatever the hell you want it to be).

"Never Tried To Go Away" is actually pretty good. The vocals are somewhere between Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) and Dave Gahan, but with a bit more accent between them (Ashbury Heights is the best comparision I can make).

Like most Synthpop bands, the lyrics aren't hugely deep, and often samey at times, but there's a heart and soul in the release that makes the difference between an amateur band, and one you really cheer on to succeed.

I have always considered the Synthpop success to be about the music - If it's very danceable with gorgeous synths that match the theme of the song, then I generally rate it. Xanthippe does this very well - fortunately, as "Never Tried to Go Away" is lyrically very repetitive towards the end of the four minute track.

New Romantics will get more than just an Erection from the lyrical themes on offer here - "Something In Your Eyes" is lyrically very, very moving, and "Cure and Aid Blessing" - despite some incorrect Grammar, is the albums "Band-Aid" moment - make sure you know how to do the "Slow Hand-Clap" when this one plays.

Romance and Chilled out music had to happen, for a band named after Socrates' Wife (Incidentally, the band claim that this is coincidence - they chose the name because it looks and sounds good). To the same extent, Xanthippe is a mood band. They are a very soft, very chilled and intricate Synthpop act, and I don't expect this formula to change any time soon.

You really do need to be in the right mood to appreciate them - otherwise you'd get the same effect if you were in a foul mood and wanted to shred your Guitar, but played along to a backing track of Wind Chimes.

Despite the terrible web presence that Xanthippe currently have, the packaging and thought of each album is something to give a special thought to. Each release comes with lengthy lyric books, and "Soulstripes" in particular has a hand drawn fold-out, which opens up to pictures of the band looking cool (doesn't every Synthpop album?).

The fairest score to give this is a 7. The album is Beautiful, with a deliberate capital 'B'. "Mankind" is a touching and warming track, and each of the 13 songs on here has a moment where you will go "Oooh!" and "Aaah!" - Set your music player (if you listen on a PC) to one of those colourful pre-patterns and you might as well be at a Firework display.

My problem with Xanthippe is that simply, you have to be in a REALLY good mood, or romantic / soft mood to make the most out of them, but when you do, who can do it better?

Therefore, I rule that the problem does indeed lie with Austria. There isn't a reason why this band shouldn't be signed, at least.

Xanthippe do have to take a slight bit of responsibility here - the website was last updated in 2007, and to be honest, isn't optimum. The web address given on the CD's (www.xanthippe.at) doesn't work, and there is no Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter page to promote the guys.

Tracking them down took me several months alone... Let's make their name known.
4
Brutal Resonance

Xanthippe - Soulstripes

7.0
"Good"
N/A
Electroracle
Released off label 2004
Xanthippe is an Austrian Synthpop band, and this release "Soulstripes" was their 3rd album. Released in 2003, the band is since working on their 5th album.

Being a Synthpop band in Austria is career suicide - a fact not lost to Gerhard Paul and Franz Siegl. In an interview, they revealed that it's hard for anything other than Folk bands to break through. Lederhosen and Lutes weren't for them, apparently. Which is a good job. Let's take a look at the Black and White world of "Soulstripes", and try and diagnose where the problem lies.

Not with "Heartro", that's for sure. This Eighty-One second trap is an adorable, progressive, and tuneful intro that might as well be the Kundalini ascending, as you achieve Godhead. (Or whatever the hell you want it to be).

"Never Tried To Go Away" is actually pretty good. The vocals are somewhere between Peter Spilles (Project Pitchfork) and Dave Gahan, but with a bit more accent between them (Ashbury Heights is the best comparision I can make).

Like most Synthpop bands, the lyrics aren't hugely deep, and often samey at times, but there's a heart and soul in the release that makes the difference between an amateur band, and one you really cheer on to succeed.

I have always considered the Synthpop success to be about the music - If it's very danceable with gorgeous synths that match the theme of the song, then I generally rate it. Xanthippe does this very well - fortunately, as "Never Tried to Go Away" is lyrically very repetitive towards the end of the four minute track.

New Romantics will get more than just an Erection from the lyrical themes on offer here - "Something In Your Eyes" is lyrically very, very moving, and "Cure and Aid Blessing" - despite some incorrect Grammar, is the albums "Band-Aid" moment - make sure you know how to do the "Slow Hand-Clap" when this one plays.

Romance and Chilled out music had to happen, for a band named after Socrates' Wife (Incidentally, the band claim that this is coincidence - they chose the name because it looks and sounds good). To the same extent, Xanthippe is a mood band. They are a very soft, very chilled and intricate Synthpop act, and I don't expect this formula to change any time soon.

You really do need to be in the right mood to appreciate them - otherwise you'd get the same effect if you were in a foul mood and wanted to shred your Guitar, but played along to a backing track of Wind Chimes.

Despite the terrible web presence that Xanthippe currently have, the packaging and thought of each album is something to give a special thought to. Each release comes with lengthy lyric books, and "Soulstripes" in particular has a hand drawn fold-out, which opens up to pictures of the band looking cool (doesn't every Synthpop album?).

The fairest score to give this is a 7. The album is Beautiful, with a deliberate capital 'B'. "Mankind" is a touching and warming track, and each of the 13 songs on here has a moment where you will go "Oooh!" and "Aaah!" - Set your music player (if you listen on a PC) to one of those colourful pre-patterns and you might as well be at a Firework display.

My problem with Xanthippe is that simply, you have to be in a REALLY good mood, or romantic / soft mood to make the most out of them, but when you do, who can do it better?

Therefore, I rule that the problem does indeed lie with Austria. There isn't a reason why this band shouldn't be signed, at least.

Xanthippe do have to take a slight bit of responsibility here - the website was last updated in 2007, and to be honest, isn't optimum. The web address given on the CD's (www.xanthippe.at) doesn't work, and there is no Facebook, Bandcamp, Twitter page to promote the guys.

Tracking them down took me several months alone... Let's make their name known.
May 19 2011

Off label

Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
3
Shares

Buy this release

Poponaut

Related articles

Mr.Kitty - 'XIII '

Review, May 26 2014

Diorama - 'Cubed'

Review, Apr 16 2010

Mesh - 'A Perfect Solution'

Review, Oct 28 2009

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016