Background/Info: Sômbre is a French duo set up in 2011 by Cédric Manine (vocals) and Axel Wursthorn (composer and producer). After having released a first album (cf. “Half Light”) in 2012 ion Str8Line Records the band is now back on track unleashing a new opus. Sômbre claims to be inspired by 80s cold-wave and rock music.
Content: “Linsay” sounds like the influences of the band. There’s a fusion between typical 80s cold-wave and post-punk elements at one side and a more traditional dark-rock touch at the other side. The guitar is the main instrument in the writing process, but I also noticed electronic sequences. The tracklist mixes ‘harder’- and ‘softer’ cuts, like moving from the dancefloor into pure, dark reverie. The last song is a cover version of Kim Wilde’s hit “Kids In America”.
+ + + : The best passages are definitely taking us back to the 80s influences. The darker side of the work is the most exciting one. I’m referring to “Black Skin Twins” and the more electro-like “ALF”. I also have to mention the title song for the bewitching male – female vocals’ duo and the dark reverie emerging at the surface. The artistic digipak is a nice little bonus.
– – – : The cover version of “Kids In America” is very personal and even original, but unfortunately less convincing. I’m also not convinced by the most ‘rock’-driven songs. I think Sômbre are their best when getting back to the 80s cold-wave movement.
Conclusion: The album is not that bad, but I think this band has more potential than what I’ve heard so far. So the best is yet to come…
Best songs: “ALF”, “Linsay”, “Black Skin Twins”.