Review: Some Ember- "Asleep In the Ice Palace"

Some Ember - Asleep In the Ice Palace
(2013 Night-People)
"Silken synths...acidic twang"

Looking back to the time when Goth and Pop walked hand in hand, Some Ember's tunes reminisce fondly on 80s synth-pop legends like Depeche Mode, Tears For Fears and Talk Talk. Textures explored in their new cassette EP, Asleep In the Ice Palace,  range from rich and velvety to pointedly dark, not unlike much of other tapes sharing space with  in the Night-People catalog, yet their knack for quality songcraft trumps the meager adherence to historical exactitude that many bands in the same league cling to.

The EP's title track is also the first you'll hear on the tape, and is also the most upbeat selection, silken synths the acidic twang of a guitar holding back to let the vocals take center stage, and for good reason. They have the sort of lulling, yawn-like quality that will automatically remind anyone of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears For Fears. Just as soon as you've gotten used to them, a new vocal style supplants it: the raspy disdain of Joy Division's Ian Curtis. It's almost like the album is a recording of two bands, one in love with saccharine pop, the other dedicated to all things downcast. The pairing of these two polar opposites has a magnetic effect, adjoining to form a sound that improves on each. They're made for each other. If you haven't yet jumped on the 80s revivalism bandwagon, then take a listen to Asleep In the Ice Palace and discover true pop salvation.