There has been an explosion in recent years of new dark wave, or dark wave-influenced bands, typified by reverb-y guitar, chunky bass lines, ethereal-sounding vocals, and in some cases, synthesizers. Lyrical themes can vary widely, but trend towards the dark, depressing, or introspective. I’m not always crazy about the genre, but when it’s done well, it is certainly worth listening to. Orations are one of the better sounding bands of the genre. While they stick rather close to the formula of this style of music, there are enough quality riffs and songwriting chops to maintain my interest. Where Orations particularly shines is lyrically. Each song on this cassette acts as a sort of word painting which the music brings to life. I almost wish the vocals were a little more prominent in the mix and less layered behind the rest of the band, to give some extra power to this effect. Small gripes aside, this is a release worth checking out, particularly for existing fans of the genre.
–Paul J. Comeau (Sheets Of Tens, sheetsoftens.com, [email protected])