Parralox return with a new album "Subculture", an album we are hoping is a return to form, do they succeed, well let's see.....
The opening track "Paradise" features Marcella Detroit on vocal duty (The album features various different singers) and has a summer feel to it, laid back and interesting, next is "Electric Nights" with Johanna Gervin on vocals, this is like a throwback to the early Parralox days, an uptempo dance number, although it does tend to grate after a few listens. Louise Love is featured on vocals on 6 tracks on the album (Certainly for me deserves to maybe be the full time replacement for Amii), the first is the track "Key To The Door Of Heaven", again a track that long standing Parralox fans will appreciate, with it's house stabs and dance feel, a good track. "Gimme Back My Lovin'" features Lillia on vocals and she delivers a fine vocal over another "House" arrangement. This is a song I have liked the more I hear it. The albums first true Parralox classic arrives in the shape of "Change Of Heart", John's vocals really suit this song, it is infectious, melodic, everything a good Parralox track should be, I think this should be released as single, one of the best Parralox tracks for a while.
"A Question Of Love" also delivers, fantastic synth ballad arrangement and dual vocals by John & Louise. "Jupiter" is a minimal synth ballad again featuring Louise and John on vocals, I love this track, beautiful in it's delivery. Louise again features on "Pressure Point", a fine vocal performance and John on sterling form on synths, this is another track that has grown on me the more I have heard it. "Overdrive" features Ian Burden on bass, he was a former member of The Human League and this track has all the influences of The Human League, driving beat and bassline with a melodic chorus. The track is spoilt by the horrible vocal effects at the end of the track.
"Last Year At Marienbad" is a bubbly synthpop track with vocal duty shared between John & Louise, another highlight on the album. Then we come to a real gem of a track "Last Man Standing" which features Peter Wilson, this strikes you from the off a pulsating synthpop dance track that rates as one of the best ever from Parralox, a chorus you will be singing, syhth work is outstanding and the vocals are perfect.
"Voyager II" is a fine track as well with it's Moroder like Bass-line, the track previously appeared in Instrumental form on the "Wildlife Remixes" release last year. "Rocket Science II" is also a remake of the instrumental version that also appeared on the "Wildlife Remixes" album. The closing track on the album "86G" seems totally out of place on the album and is best desribed as an "Experimental" track.
"Subculture" is an album that shows a return to form, minus one or two below par tracks, which is certainly good news if you are a Parralox fan. It's an album worth your investment, it's varied but all the important Parralox ingredients are there for you to enjoy, the melodies, the beats and good song structures.
The album is available on CD from Conzoom Records
The album is also available as a Digital Download from Bandcamp
Best tracks: Change Of Heart, A Question Of Love, Jupiter, Last Man Standing