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Bell, The: Great Heat

During the previous century, the year 2000 was looked upon as something that would herald in a new age of technology, culture and art, however in realisation what the last ten and a half years or so have really produced is gadgets that have helped to strangle the business side of the music we love and bands who are desperate to look back rather than forward. We've had retro-rock, AOR is returning, and the NWOBHM is inspiring countless bands too young to have sampled it firsthand. Enter The Bell, who while describing themselves as post/punk melodic pop, are more accurately similar to a cheerier version of the Pet Shop Boys meets The Human League with a dash of The Killers. Let's call this electro, or synth pop and be done with it. So unlike most bands who try to mimic the 70's, The Bell are harking back to a slightly more recent time and paying homage to the 80's with an album that tries to present dreary, synth motifs in a more upbeat fashion, although lyrically this can still be slit your wrists stuff.

As with any style of music the crux of things comes down to whether the results sound good or not and while Great Heat promises much, in the end it delivers very little that you want to hear over and over. The songs aren't bad, but they are very derivative of the era they ape and offer very little in the way of light or shade as the album progresses. I'd go as far as to say that you could almost play these songs without the gaps in between and believe it was all one big, long song that went on for far too long. To be fair, vocally the band are extremely adept at creating some intentionally monotone, but remarkably melodious harmonies with little twists and turns that do brighten up an otherwise dowdy journey. I do actually enjoy a lot of what the 80's music scene had to offer, however unfortunately The Bell don't quite offer up the best of an era that had more chaff than any other.

Not exactly inspired and not exactly original, The Bell have some way to go to translate their love of a bygone era into something that will invigorate this one.

Track Listing
1. What Ever Did You Say?
2. Holiday
3. Throw me A Bone
4. Today
5. Tell Us You're Sorry
6. The Sound
7. You Fell Behind
8. Dope Makes You
9. I Can't Change
10. 23 Seconds

Added: June 10th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Bell
Hits: 1957
Language: english

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