Black Sunday – Tronic Blanc (CD)

Mixing together parts of The Doors, early nineties Goo Goo Dolls and Bauhaus, Alicja Trout starts off “Tronic Blanc” with a jangly goth-dance track that could honestly have been pulled out from the halcyon days of the form. However, complacency is no on the docket for this disc, as “Torture Torture” rips up any framework that was created with “The Picture Looks So Small” and uses seventies-punk guitar riffs to aid with the Joan Jett-styled vocals of Alicja. If that wasn’t enough, Black Sunday shifts paradigm during “Next Girl Detour” to find itself in the Donnas/Me First realm of things, a pure rock-influenced, stomping shibboleth of a track replete with an echoed, second set of vocals.

While each of the tracks leading up to it was fun, the disc’s first true single comes during the lean, industrial-leaning jam known as “You’re Gonna See Me”. Smart synthesizer makes the track rigid but Alicja has the vocal presence to rage against the machine. The fact that the machinery eventually wins out, leading the track into complete instrumentality in the last minute or so, shows a cognizance of the storytelling nature of Black Sunday’s music. Meshing together all the styles that were used during “Tronic Blanc” is Black Sunday’s “Modulated Simulated”, a track that is much more acceptable to the average music listener.

The track itself uses the same catchy rhythms that pound themselves into a listener’s head, and top the synths present on the track with a strong guitar solo. Using instrumental sections in Black Sunday’s music seems to be a common occurrence through the entirety of “Tronic Blanc”. By and large, these tracks (such as “Good Dreams” provide palette-cleansers for the other sections of the disc, and maintain some sort of conformity with the rest of the track while still being vital. Keeping with the continually-changing sound of Black Sunday, “What I Think Is Wrong” is heavily influenced by Garbage and Madonna, while the synths really feel like they were taken from an Asia recording session. Finishing off the track with a more tribal-feeling set of drumming and synths, the track is much more of a showing of Black Sunday’s music, a synopsis in four minutes. Black Sunday move through a number of different formats, but maintain a general sound with this disc and a promise to always make interesting and peppy music; this promise is fulfilled and “Tronic Blanc” is one of the most eclectic albums to come out this year.

Top Tracks: On the Way Downtown, You’re Gonna See Me

Rating: 7.0/10

Black Sunday – Tronic Blanc / 2005 Dirtnap / 13 Tracks / http://www.geocities.com/houseofsmut/sl_alicja.html / http://www.dirtnaprecs.com / Reviewed 08 June 2005

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