CD, A Different Drum, 2007
Australian Synthpop veterans Neuropa have always been a bit of a underground fan favourite for a lot of fans of the genre and in my opinion, have certainly been responsible for a lot of A Different Drum’s success in the earlier stages of the label’s founding. With the release of their fifth album “The Blitz”, the band have chosen a somewhat darker route in their otherwise straight-edged Synthpop/New Wave sound, and with this in mind I was keen to see how a three year break would have effected the music on the whole.
Now the term ‘Darkwave’ isn’t really a term that I would associate with the style of Neuropa’s music, but this particular album certainly does contain quite a considerable element of edgier New Wave songs. The light guitar work in a lot of the albums songs does seem to suggest a much more aggressive Neuropa, and in my opinion it actually helped improve their sound considerably. Fans of the older Neuropa sound need not to worry either, there are still very upbeat 80’s influenced pop songs included that are a constant reminder of the success of their earlier work. Now as a down point to the album, I did find that a lot of the songs have a habit of gelling into one another, which ultimately proves it hard to differentiate from one track to another. Another reason some people might be put off is that this is definitely not an album designed for clubs. I find that most of the songs are perfect for your average Sunday afternoon lazing about in the sun. This works for me fine but for others, it may not appeal. There are some tracks that will definitely have you going back for more, “Invincible”, “Suicide Bomb” and “Hardline” are three very good examples of this. All have great catchy lyrics, great vocal work and huge staying power. I was also impressed to see a newer version of their underground hit “Bound” (this time in the form of “reBound”).
As I say I do have some niggling problems with the diversity of the tracks on “The Blitz” but on the whole I do enjoy a lot of retro sounds in my music and none get more 80’s than Neuropa. Although the progression of this album is very slight it is noticeable, and slowly but surely the album will undoubtedly grow on you.
— Paul Marcham