Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Gallery: S/T LP

The Gallery were a Belgian band whose generic name has rendered them pretty much impossible to search for on the web. I don’t believe this has been shared or blogged about before, but who knows… I have found out that, quite confusingly, the band’s guitarist/keyboardist /producer Stephan Kraemer was in another unrelated band called Gallery in the early 80s. However, he is probably best known for his work as the guitarist/drummer of Zwischenfall. That group’s style of dark synthpop focused more on noisy but danceable electronics; The Gallery balance their synth use with more guitars. In this five-piece darkwave group, Kraemer worked with vocalist Iben Larssen and bassist Thomas Kuersten , both of whom worked with him on a few Zwischenfall songs (Iben Larssen provided the vocals to the 1984 English version of Flucht and Sandy Eyes), as well as contributing to tracks by Snowy Red and A Split Second. Keyboardist Nicolas Mansy later went to record with the short-lived alt/synth group Wasteland .
With such bona fides, the band has a lot to live up to and while the LP is a bit uneven at times, for the most part they do not disappoint. The vocals are usually haunting, with plenty of reverb and atmosphere. They suffer a bit on a few early songs when the band treads into more alt-rock territory replete with strained, yelled lyrics. Fortunately not too many songs take this stylistic deviation, and the best songs are reserved for the second side. The closing song, Nuthouse, is a midtempo track whose gloomy, beautiful chorus almost comes as a surprise. Crime Time is a full-force darkwave track that would sound perfect in any goth club set between Skeletal Family and The Veil. My favorite track on the album is the slow, stark “The Warning”, a vaguely Cocteau Twins affair which starts with sparse bass and drums before they’re followed up with cold synth chimes that sound like they’re channeling The Exorcist.

 The Gallery, S/T LP
1989, 150 BPM Records
Your Skin
 Better Days
Ballad of a Suburban Night
Fade Away
 The Warning
Crime Time

  Click here to listen!

1 comment:

Mission said...

excellent post!!. thanks for sharing