The New Division - Modern Life (Single)
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
I wasn’t always on this site. Shocking, yes, I know, but a lot of people often associate Brutal Resonance and its longevity to me; that’s not a boast, though. It’s a truth. Multiple times have associates and friends of mine come up to me asking how I built Brutal Resonance. I didn’t. It was well established even before I jumped on board. Which means that there are a ton of articles that I still haven’t sifted through to this day. So, call me blind when it comes to The New Division, an electronic synthpop band of John Kunkel. The Brazilian-American musician, producer, and sound designer has had his day in court on Brutal Resonance in the past. That being when our site’s founder Patrik took a stab at “Shadows”. Spoiler alert: he loved it. But we never covered The New Division following that; shame, really, considering how good they sound. Allow me to correct that today.
With a stroke of luck and e-mails penned (typed) back and forth between myself and a PR agent, I am now here to present judgement day on the lead single, and title track, of his latest album “Modern Life”.
The intro of the song has a build-up like that of a retro VHS tape getting ready to roll out a grand Saturday night movie. Deep basslines and ethereal vocals hit in tandem, with every single sound screaming out grandiose production. A slight echo, a reverb, or something of the sort (I’m no musician) comes alongside Kunkel’s vocal talent giving it an unnatural breadth; something that’s alluring and peaceful. Bright synth notes pop and beam throughout the single, constantly moving it forward and never letting down for a moment. The New Division throws a curveball around the two-minute and thirty-four second mark, allowing for a rock groove to takeover momentarily. A bit in the vein of the experimental nature of post-punk, it doesn’t last long, but gives a warm welcome before serving us back a climax of fun fueled synthpop.
Again, I may have never heard of The New Division prior to this engagement even though it was covered on the site before (a decade ago, that is). But hearing the single ‘Modern Life’ has me understanding why this project was praised so highly all those years ago. Because I’m gonna do it again. Eight out of ten.Apr 06 2023
Official release released by the artist themselves without the backing of a label.
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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The New Division - Gemini is available at POPONAUT from 7,95€