The Unkindness of Ravens / Virus
Thanks to a stockpile of cracking singles, TUOR's debut album is like a greatest hits of neon-lit electrorock, writes Ric Rawlins...
The Unkindness Of Ravens
(Sonic Fire Records)
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Techno-grunge artists, industrial cyber-rockers – these Ravens have already been called many things, but there are some clear facts on the ground: the Berlin twosome mix distorted, stereo-filling basslines (courtesy of Ben Raine) with urgent, sometimes angelic vocals (from Nina Wagner), all given strobe-lit motion by pulsating dance beats.
The duo have been discreetly releasing great singles since late 2010, when ‘Accelerator’ kick started things – and although that song isn’t included here, many of the best are: ‘Virus’ isolates its tar-black bassline into samples, while Nina offers a playful welcome to the underworld. The title track updates electroclash with a grand, almost Satanic flourish of orchestral distortion, while last year’s ‘White Road’ single is a kind of psychedelic blanket for those lost in the night, erupting into the “speed and gasoline” that “bring you closer to me”.
The non-singles keep up the quality: ‘You Should Know By Now’ is a handclapped and insistently rhythmic study in hypnosis, while ‘Last Call For The River’ might just be the most dangerous and cinematic tune they’ve yet penned. The album ends on ‘Yours Forever But Not To Hold’ a ballad from some great Magic Theatre, endlessly warm and bittersweet. ‘Virus’ is a straight flush: a greatest hits and debut all in one that captures the zeitgeist of the night.