Background/Info: The Ritualists is a New-York (USA) based combo and one of the latest signings on Out Of Line. “Painted People” is the band’s debut full length. They claim to be inspired by various artists such as David Bowie, T. Rex, Velvet Underground, Suede, The Kinks, The Stooges, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, Duran Duran ao. You might have discovered the band at the label compilation “Awake The Machines Vol.8” with their single “Ice Flower”.
Content: The Ritualists is definitely an atypical formation on the label roster. Out Of Line is no longer the ‘classical’ electro label, but became open minded for different kinds of music. The Ritualists experiments with different styles, sometimes reminding me to the imaginary offspring between Echo & The Bunnymen and Suede. The guitar play is dominant in their music and literally injects a truly spirit in the songs while the vocals reflect a professionalism and maturity.
+ + + : The Ritualists is already enlarging Out Of Line’s sonic horizon. This is pure pop-rock mixed with some good-old 80s influences. Some call it post-punk, but whatever the label, it’s a rather eclectic composition carried by an impressive guitar playing, which can be psychedelic and especially elevating during the choruses. I also have to make a special mention for singer Christian Dryden who’s a real nature talent! This guy can switch from high- towards lower keys in the same song and brings a real charisma to the music.
– – – : The Ritualists is an interesting discovery, but I can imagine for numerous Out Of Line fans from the early electronic period it’s the kind of record, which is ‘undone’!
Conclusion: I didn’t know what to expect when listening to this work, but it’s a successful debut revealing a band with a huge potential.
Best songs: “Ice Flower”, “Sunset”, “Darling”, “She’s The Sun”, “Starry Night”.
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