Summore - New Pain
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
After a lengthy teaser period darkwave duo Summore have unleashed their brand-new album “New Pain”. And it’s a pretty nice physical package all-in-all. Translucent double vinyl in a purple-y theme cover art package. Ah, if only looks could kill. Unfortunately, this is a music review site and thus we cannot judge a book…Or record by it’s cover. Instead, we have to uncover the truth behind what’s on those expensive, and sometimes shiny vinyl discs. And the truth of the matter on “New Pain” is that it is a fine example of modern darkwave. While not everything pays off in the end and there are a few blemishes here and there, it nonetheless holds up in a good manner.
Two of the tracks on the album serve as little bits of intro and mid-exposition, those being ‘It’s All Bad’ and ‘What’s Left of Us’. ‘It’s All Bad’ has some reversed sounds at the beginning and very slight background samples. Noir-ish, in a sense, like something dangerous lurking around the corner. ‘What’s Left of Us’, however, feels out of place on the album but not in a bad sense. With the radio chatter in the background and the electric score, it sounds like a piece out of a sci-fi film.
A ton of the songs on the album also lay in the two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minute margin, which is where Summore is most effective. ‘Burn’, ‘Yeah, Me’, ‘Tapestry’, ‘Recall’, ‘Watch Your Back’, ‘New Pain’, and ‘The Sky Has Fallen’ all fall into this realm. The two highlights for me are ‘Tapestry’ and ‘Recall’. I love the ethereal bliss found on ‘Recall’. The drawn out notes give it an ambient formula while the working synths create a floating sensation. Deep synths grind down below trickling electronic notes and fluttery beats. ‘Tapestry’, however, has a cinematic brilliance to it. The stuttering drums, the slow build-up of marching beats, and synths that drive forward as it all comes to a climax. It is quite beautiful.
This complaint I have saved for last as it is something I would have repeated throughout the review. And repetition is boring – as is the case on “New Pain”. This is something that became worrisome to me when I reviewed one of the lead singles off of “New Pain”, that being ‘Magic Pill’. I noted in that review that as much as I enjoyed the single, it was well produced, the length of the track could have been cut by a third due to the lack of changeup. What you get within the first minute is what’s expected for the rest of the song. This can be said for much of the rest of the album from start to finish. It began with ‘Magic Pill’ and reared it’s ugly head on longer songs such as ‘Chains’, ‘Dust’, ‘Stay’, and ‘Storm’. This is why I alluded to many of the shorter songs being favorites of mine on the album – because they tend to avoid this mess.
That being said, the variation from song to song on the album is decent. Summore’s ethereal and ambient behaviors return on ‘Chains’, as we get slow synthpop vibes from ‘All the Time’. And ‘Storm’ brings down an electrifying performance from the duo. Repetitive to a fault but backed by wondrous production – one step backwards, two forwards sort of thing.
Like many darkwave bands currently entering the scene, Summore is not rewriting the genre. They’re taking what’s established and turning it into something that works for them. There’s definite room for improvement, but they’ve a solid base to build upon. And this is a band I look forward to hearing from more in the future.Sep 10 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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