Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Pure Reason Revolution are proof a band can be influenced by ELO, Smashing Pumpkins, Soulwax, Depeche Mode and The Beach Boys all at once, yet make sense of a vision that brings those disparate voices together into a sound that combines electronic dance rhythms, pop hooks and sublime vocal harmonies with huge rockriffs” (Super Ball Music Press Release, 2010).
1. Fight Fire - This song just jumps out and grabs you from the opening. I was captivated by all of the sounds and synthesizer work. Cool guitar riffs, blasting drums and squeaking synths just electrify the room and firing up the speakers. Chloe’s voice blends so well with the drum blasts and all the hi-tech sounds that surround you in a perfect soundscape. Off to an amazing start. Can it get better than this? One of the best songs on the album and one of the best songs I have heard from this band. Electricity in loco motion!
2. Black Mourning – Slower synth opening to this one with Jon taking over lead vocals set to a slow drumming beat. Then the synths roar through and escalate the sound. The “million lives’ refrain brings back memories of their first album. A good solid danceable song. The synths and drums are just incredible.
3. Patriarch – Drums softly played over a growing synthesizer and vocal extravaganza. Alper and Courtney do a great job harmonizing along with the cool guitar plucks and those amazing synths. The instrumental section takes you back to the power of the first album. Another of the best songs on the album.
4. Last Man, Last Round – Very cool synths before Courtney’s echo effect vocals, then back to the magic of those synths. Powerful dark and surrounding synths that just build a soundscape that will amaze. It’s a sonic anthem and another of the best songs on the album. Again this one brings back memories of the best of their first album and definitely expands on the theme. You will not want that power synth and guitar metal extravaganza to end.
5. Valour – More cool synths and Courtney’s vocal driven delivery moving fast to keep up with the drums, guitar and synths. Alper’s support and harmonizing adds so much to the sound. A very cool soundscape.
6. Over The Top – This will bring back memories of Depeche Mode. Another great song with Courtney and Alper doing great work on harmonies along with that excellent synthesizer.
7. Never Divide – Cool spacey surrounding synths and launching guitar riffs, then those slamming drums. More great harmonies between Courtney and Alper. The guitar plays a bigger role in this song.
8. Blitzkrieg – Wild synths and a danceable beat set with drums and claps. An instrumental extravaganza of synthesized electricity with a little repeated narration. Definitely a blitzkrieg of synth sound that will have you up and moving. Great for live clubs. Courtney and Alper do harmonize with some vocals towards the end, but this is a synth extravaganza.
9. Open Insurrection – Cool sound effects and synths open this one. Dark synths and battle – like effects fill the soundscape. Then it drifts into a piano – like sound with synths coming from all sides of the room. The effect makes this another of the best instrumental openings and songs on the album. Then the pounding drums are added to the mix as synths buzz overhead. The longest song at 7:21, and they use every minute to provide a power soundscape which at first sooths, then rocks hard.
10. Armistice – More cool synth effects open this pop song. The most pop song on the album, but still very good. Courtney does a great job on vocals and the synths, guitars and drums are excellent. Alper supports with those great harmonies to build a perfect closer for this album. This is one of the least heaviest songs on this harder edge album.
Rating: 8/10 – An excellent album of synthesizer influenced music. They really do a fantastic job of bending and mixing many musical genres. You can either dance or rock to all of this music. I do not have their second album, so I cannot trace the evolution completely. I do have the Dark Third, and I hear some echoes here, but they have built a much heavier album this time. They do a great job mixing synths with guitars and drums while providing warm vocal harmony.
Reviewed by Prof on September 23rd, 2010