XP8 - Adrenochrome
Electro, Futurepop We've moved on a fair bit since XP8's last studio album, 2010's 'Drop The Mask'. Now with both members living in London, XP8 are able to really push the boat out - and 'Adrenochrome' is an album that's the sum of all its parts. A conceptual release, based on a novel written by Marko, the album has already reached the dizzying heights of fame by reaching its IndieGoGo target in less than 24 hours - a possible record. All of this, and the album hasn't even been heard by the vast majority yet.

Now, I'll admit to not having had the time to really check out the novel, but I'ts pretty clear that one of the main influences for the release is London - the Big Smoke itself - a City both plagued and Hallowed. Let's see just how much of a change everything is off of paper. I expect something big here.

Beginning with "Awakenings", we're treated to an Intro that builts into a catchy melody. It segues into some well-produced bass, and explodes into an immediate 'Killer'. This track is a reminder of how good XP8 can be - it's super in it's execution, Marko's vocals are a personal improvement for me, and I love how the beats and synths give the tune an edge towards "Chaotic", but retain the immediate nature of a future 'classic'.

Last weekend, I actually stayed in London and wandered around a bit with this album blasting out of my Sennheisers, and I have to admit, that it does actually have quite an effect. Sometimes to really appreciate music you need to live through the direct influence of it first-hand, and as someone resigned to the quite formalities of a small country town in Hampshire, the hustle and bustle of the City that never sleeps is quite the alarm - I can easily see why it means so much to so many.

Making the concept more obvious is "Camden Town". Opening with one of the most relevant lines imaginable, the track refers to Camden as "The beating Heart inside a crippled and dying City", and you know, that's actually an amazing analogy. I honestly couldn't agree more. The track has a few nods to XP8's earlier "Futurepop" material, but remains the continuation of a unique project that's ever-evolving. "We share our Histories" - another line from the song just seems so appropriate. Recommended.

In Lieu of a track-by-track, which I am really trying not to do, the release continues to intrigue and impress, with tracks such as "Getaway" and "Night Run" documenting the progress of an act still approaching its plateau.

Don't get me wrong, the album isn't perfect. Some tracks sound more like vintage XP8, and some don't appeal to me as much as others do - some even have basslines and vocal melodies that I swear I've heard before (don't ask me where, I could easily be wrong), but ultimately, this album wasn't three years in the making for just one reason - it's a clear labour of love, and an evolved, stoic effort that both adds freshness to the group and paves the way for a new era of listeners.

For those who previously couldn't make their mind up about XP8, this is probably the best album to have a listen to. For those who have never liked the band, I can't honestly say this will change your mind - but it will be the best shot the group will have to convert you.

Towards the end of the album, we even take a trip down memory lane with some classic Futurepop style tracks that give a respectful nod towards 2005's 'Hrs:Min:Sec.' However, it's unfair to say that the band are stuck in that loop. The group are much better now than ever before, and actually, the ghost of "HMS" could well and truly be exorcised here.

As I said, it isn't the perfect release, but it feels like the duo's strongest so far.
4
Brutal Resonance

XP8 - Adrenochrome

8.5
"Great"
9.0
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2013 by 2393 Records
We've moved on a fair bit since XP8's last studio album, 2010's 'Drop The Mask'. Now with both members living in London, XP8 are able to really push the boat out - and 'Adrenochrome' is an album that's the sum of all its parts. A conceptual release, based on a novel written by Marko, the album has already reached the dizzying heights of fame by reaching its IndieGoGo target in less than 24 hours - a possible record. All of this, and the album hasn't even been heard by the vast majority yet.

Now, I'll admit to not having had the time to really check out the novel, but I'ts pretty clear that one of the main influences for the release is London - the Big Smoke itself - a City both plagued and Hallowed. Let's see just how much of a change everything is off of paper. I expect something big here.

Beginning with "Awakenings", we're treated to an Intro that builts into a catchy melody. It segues into some well-produced bass, and explodes into an immediate 'Killer'. This track is a reminder of how good XP8 can be - it's super in it's execution, Marko's vocals are a personal improvement for me, and I love how the beats and synths give the tune an edge towards "Chaotic", but retain the immediate nature of a future 'classic'.

Last weekend, I actually stayed in London and wandered around a bit with this album blasting out of my Sennheisers, and I have to admit, that it does actually have quite an effect. Sometimes to really appreciate music you need to live through the direct influence of it first-hand, and as someone resigned to the quite formalities of a small country town in Hampshire, the hustle and bustle of the City that never sleeps is quite the alarm - I can easily see why it means so much to so many.

Making the concept more obvious is "Camden Town". Opening with one of the most relevant lines imaginable, the track refers to Camden as "The beating Heart inside a crippled and dying City", and you know, that's actually an amazing analogy. I honestly couldn't agree more. The track has a few nods to XP8's earlier "Futurepop" material, but remains the continuation of a unique project that's ever-evolving. "We share our Histories" - another line from the song just seems so appropriate. Recommended.

In Lieu of a track-by-track, which I am really trying not to do, the release continues to intrigue and impress, with tracks such as "Getaway" and "Night Run" documenting the progress of an act still approaching its plateau.

Don't get me wrong, the album isn't perfect. Some tracks sound more like vintage XP8, and some don't appeal to me as much as others do - some even have basslines and vocal melodies that I swear I've heard before (don't ask me where, I could easily be wrong), but ultimately, this album wasn't three years in the making for just one reason - it's a clear labour of love, and an evolved, stoic effort that both adds freshness to the group and paves the way for a new era of listeners.

For those who previously couldn't make their mind up about XP8, this is probably the best album to have a listen to. For those who have never liked the band, I can't honestly say this will change your mind - but it will be the best shot the group will have to convert you.

Towards the end of the album, we even take a trip down memory lane with some classic Futurepop style tracks that give a respectful nod towards 2005's 'Hrs:Min:Sec.' However, it's unfair to say that the band are stuck in that loop. The group are much better now than ever before, and actually, the ghost of "HMS" could well and truly be exorcised here.

As I said, it isn't the perfect release, but it feels like the duo's strongest so far. Jun 01 2013

Nick Quarm

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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