Thursday, November 19, 2009

Collide - "These Eyes Before" CD

This California group's fifth full-length shines a new light on the duo's darkly sensual grooves. Formed in the mid-90's amidst the industrial rock frenzy, programmer Statik and vocalist kaRIN have steadily built a solid reputation and audience, fully independently, and their work has been instrumental in diversifying an increasingly testosterone-laden electronic dance/rock scene. They have befriended and worked alongside artists like Tool, Skinny Puppy, and Prince, but fittingly, it's their own work that garners them the most attention. "These Eyes Before" is a collection of 10 covers, beginning with Pink Floyd's "Breathe", which is transformed into a lovely and fantastic soundscape with an appropriately spaced-out vibe, and of course kaRIN's smooth and ethereal vocals. The Moody Blues' "Nights In White Satin" is also respectfully updated, with a superb mix of organic instrumentation and sleek programming. Other standouts? Depeche Mode's "I Feel You" is trippier and better-produced than the original. Bowie's amazing "Space Oddity" is given a wonderful modern electronic cyber-grafting, with kaRIN's breezy vocals pointed to the celestial heavens. Chris Isaak's "Baby Did A Bad Thing" effectively brings some smoldering, gritty rock to the table, and Fleetwood Mac's percussive "Tusk" is recreated, with actual marching band, and it all closes out with another Pink Floyd classic, "Comfortably Numb". Normally, I'd shout "heresy", as some things are just sacred, but Collide admirably pull it off, adding a cool and deep layer of mood to the song's already-potent melancholy. A superb release, and perhaps their best yet. (Noiseplus Music)

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