REVIEW: Belisha - "People Of The Dark"

By May Wiseman

Chain Border

People of the DarkModerate blurbs of social confusion find their way on five of the seventeen tracks in People Of The Dark. The disarray is nearly beautiful due to these various clips and the clips prelude into a similar sound found on the tracks that follow, which I found to actually build the dynamics of their music. These clips are also the discs' arena for the bands Goth side in the way they are incorporated to establish almost a metaphoric basis for mortality, pain and its emotional impact on ones soul - I figured the "people" must be the distorted versions of voices on these clips.

Belisha's sound is not necessarily dark, or gothic; it's pure new age rock that gets inside of its' listener. This music is also a rarity considering they dwell in the UK, which we know to be a predominantly techno/power pop scene these days and they are producing a harder version of rock for the people that have walked out of the disco tech line to stand across the street in the rock club line because they want to feel something besides sweaty dance tunes. It takes guts to step out of that line and takes even more guts to take that initial risk and do something different, like rock, that doesn't follow their towns' suit.

Carried by a tenacious rhythm (Hawl) and thick bass lines (Elrik), the title track People Of The Dark is one of their more pretentious songs I'll admit, but It's where I got a good feel for Dan's vocal range and how well he stays within it without sounding like a forced out product similar to most rock bands in the past few years. Instead there is a pervasive quality that's easily harmonized with. Pain, is probably my favorite tune here because of its consistent high-pitched riff (Byder) that's played in the bridge of the song and slowly picked out during the song's verse. And what a kick ass drummer these guys have - like the Gestapo drummer that Hawl, he really makes this music come alive. Track five, Want, is where I noticed the keyboards (Pit); surprised it didn't make the music a more watered down version of it's original style, but instead really adding an enormous amount of texture in the music's body.

The album builds on a rock sound as it plays on. Your not going to find the proverbial slow tune then rocked out jam scattered about. The melted tunes will be more toward the beginning of the disc and progress where you'll see a major change with a song called Eyes That Blacken, where the dynamics are built on each one of their talents. It's a very distinct sound when each member adds to the song, hearing the various instruments building on the dynamics and this same pronounced format is used on The Fall Of Evergreen. Nearing the end of the disc the sound leans toward punk rock (Illuminati), without sounding like other English punk bands. Most songs are under three minutes, which makes for easy listening, and easy replay. Go rock your ass straight to your nearest CD baby, sample a track or two (preferably Eyes That Blacken) and just get this thing a-rotating.

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