Tuesday, March 08, 2011

A Life Divided-Passenger

AFM Records 2011

Commercial sounding electro rock from Munich, Germany. Founded in 2003 the band have already released two records on a smaller label and toured with OOMPH! in 2006 and with EISBRECHER in 2007. The group has a special relationship to that band: singer Jürgen Plangger has been EISBRECHER’s live guitarist for several years now and EISBRECHER’s co-captain and producer Noel Pix was involved in the production process of A LIFE DIVIDED. While OOMPH! might be their influence (according to other sources) the band have more in common with HIM (although even that might be a stretch as there are times when Passanger sounds like 80's synth pop). "Heart Of Fire" is alternative rock with a slight DEPECHE MODE twist. "Forever" sounds like DURAN DURAN, DEPECHE MODE and FILTER swirled into a maddening mess. "Anyone" starts off sounding like modern metal before disolving into 80's overload. At times you almost get the impression these German lads want to try to appeal to everyone but it's hard to take tracks like "Forever" with it's DEPECHE MODE on speed seriously when it sounds as if "Hey You" comes from a different band. It makes the album almost feel like a comp. "Hey You" is heavy metal HIM meets SEETHER. It's one of the albums heavier tracks and the one most likely to appeal to metal fans but again it seems as if A LIFE DIVIDED want to appease everyone. "Doesn't Count" starts off with more commercial electro rock before teasing that it might be heavy. No such luck. "Save Me" bounces back towards metallic syth rock before wimping out. "Other Side" is just plain awful. The less said the better. "Sounds Like A Melody" is an ALPHAVILLE cover and while never I have never heard the original this one wasn't all that bad. Again it sounds like a distorted mixture of DEPECHE MODE and HIM. "Change" morphs DEPECHE MODE, NIN and THE PET SHOP BOYS into a molotov cocktail. "The End" is aptly titled as it's the end of this weird trip I've been on. It's just a weird pop rock number that just didn't work for me. So in conclusion there was stuff to like here such as "Hey You" and "Sounds Like A Melody" but there was all some real duds like "Other Side". My feeling is that once the band decides where they want to take their music they will be fine. But in the meantime trying to appeal to fan's of pop and heavy metal can be a lost cause (I'm not counting pop metal of course in this argument as that was a whole different time and scene). Maybe they will bridge the gap again and prove me wrong though.


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