Electro synth-pop duo Twitch The Ripper have released unto the world their debut album, Bodiless. Hailing from Connecticut, USA, the duo utilise vocalist Jon Dobyns’ eery lyricism and vocal styles over the minimalist production of counterpart Lonn Bologna.
Opening with their first single release, “Disconnected”, the album doesn’t take long to build to its first crescendo, giving the listener only 16 bars before the programmed drums kick in and give the records its pace. With it’s solid new wave/post punk vocals (think Depeche Mode), it makes for a strong single and introduction to the album.
Track two, the title track “Bodiless” is, sadly, not such a strong affair. Whilst Dobyn’s vocal talents are obvious, the song ends without ever really having that ‘kick’ which is essential in this genre to keep the listener’s attention. The breathless, melancholy of the song tires by verse two and one is left wanting for some aggression, some passion, some emotion of any sort. A shame, really, because the production on this track is one of the album’s strongest.
Standout track “Bright Is Impossible” would have to be a strong contender for a single-release should Twitch The Ripper grant themselves a second from this album. Its strong lyrics and sonically diverse production really do deliver the goods.
By side two of this album, the duo sadly seem to have employed all the tricks in their bag. Songs like “Keep Me Cold” and “Nurse Price” re-hash the same ground (and sound) of their predecessors, leaving the listener in want of something to prick the ears. Like modern-day Radiohead, it all seems a little self-involved to the casual listener.
This album has a spooky, industrial feel running through its entirety – the soundtrack to a childhood fever-dream – and is strangely relaxing at the same time. Sadly though, it lacks any standout musicianship to accompany Dobyn’s skills as a lyricist and performer and could have benefit from a little more diversity.
© Steve Pass, Music Vice
Twitch The Ripper – Official Website