The Diver - Led Er Est
While emulating the warmest sounds of the 80s has already become a cliche, (Craft Spells, Beach Fossils, etc.) only a select few bands have ventured into the era's darkest depths. Enter Led Er Est's 2nd full length release, The Diver. Instead of The Smiths and The Human League, Led Er Est would feel right at home among the likes of Joy Division and The Cure's Pornography era. In fact, they're so good at borrowing from that The Diver could even be mistaken for a Factory Records re-release. All this aside, The Diver still manages to stay exciting, fun, and surprisingly fresh.
The introductory track, "Animal Smear" clips along with echoing, screechy vocals and tons of Joy Division-esque bass that's supplemented by strange, alien synths. While punkier tracks such as the aforementioned song litter the album, they are paralleled by the pulsating, melancholy "Agua Fuerte." There are a few gems in the mix, including the tinny and skittering beats of "Divided Parallel," that wouldn't be a stranger if included in New Order's debut, Power, Corruption, and Lies. Out of all 11 tracks though, the two that really struck me as amazing are "Iron the Mandala" and "La Luvia y Memoria." The former is like a techno version of Dead Can Dance, with moments that almost transport the the listener to another dimension. The latter is sludgy and dark, with machine gun-like drums and a breathy vocal delivery.
If you're a fan of the Capured Tracks collection and are looking for something of a departure from the sunnier side of the 80s, check out The Diver by Led Er Est and you won't be disappointed.