Loyal Divide - Bodice Ripper
Record Label: Kilo Records
Release Date: October 4, 2011
Loyal Divide is a drug you want to take. The Chicago quartet formed in 2008, releasing an EP independently. That brings us to Bodice Ripper, the energetic and youthful full-length currently making waves in their hometown.
"Young Blades" is a loop-heavy introduction to the upcoming slew of accessible new-wave electronica. My favorite track on the album is "Vision Vision". With its warbling synth and carefully crafted layers, it produces an automatically catchy groove. It includes a beautiful change of pace brought on by a well-executed bridge. The song is also the creepiest on the album. If you aren't scared off by the effect-laid scream, continue listening, but keep in mind that the band loves simulating this furious noise on other tracks as well.
Instrumental "Vein Harvester" shoots straight into another beautiful track, titled "DDF." Primarily a drums/bass focused track, the song harkens to 90's-era Massive Attack. We get a Radiohead-esque conglomeration of a beat in "Baladron", which entrances and supports the massive layers of the song. We also hear this instrumentation on "New Years", which supplies Amnesiac qualities.
Three of the final four tracks showcase acoustic guitar, revealing the band's versatility and openness in their sound. Naturally as an electronic band, the lyrics take a back seat. They are able to utilize the vocals as soft melodies (in the case of the silky BGV's) and stoic and erie warnings.
Still somewhat underexposed, I look forward to watching these guys continue to make great music. For the genre, Loyal Divide is a moving and inspiring band. It's hard not to have an immediate reaction to Bodice Ripper, and those reactions should be overwhelmingly positive. In a genre stuffed with overflowing regurgitation, Loyal Divide sets up camp on the respectable side of technology.