Album Review: The Erised – Room 414

By on Wednesday, 1st June 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The Erised Room 414 CoverWith a sultry, urban sound, similar in style to Brolin, The Erised are a conglomeration of minds and spirits that form to generate an atmospheric and controlling environment. Originating in Ukraine, this band is a perfect example that your environment breeds your sound. They create moments that are dark and emotive, bringing forward a mirror of the political situation in their home country.

The band are described by their record label, South London’s Med School Records, as follows: “A unique collective from Ukraine, The Erised includes drum & bass producers Detail and Hidden Element, instrumentalists derived from jazz, rock and pop backgrounds and dancer turned singer/songwriter Sofia, together making an unstoppable combination. The band’s impressive debut release, the ‘Desire’ EP, included the supremely popular ‘Pray’ and ‘It’s Over’, which helped establish a core following amongst music fans across Europe and beyond.” Med School are now poised to release The Erised’s first full length album, titled ‘Room 414’.

‘Move On’ is where you begin to hear mild influences of jazz, which is part of the brilliance behind the sound The Erised create. With both rock and jazz musicians involved in this project, it’s no surprise that these components trickle through, and it all makes for a more exciting listen. Singer Sofia Sukorukova has a voice that sits wonderfully above the mix, never becoming too overbearing but strong enough to lead her heartbroken tales. There’s more jazz sound found in the second track ‘Velvet’, which potentially also the best descriptor for its lustrous brushed drums and sparse guitar riffs that blend beautifully into its smooth overall sound.

‘Liar’ strikes the heaviest rock sound, with the final crescendo containing drums that catastrophically erupt around everything else, which is mildly surprising considering the song starts as any other on the album. A gentle electronic beat and instrumentation takes it along nicely until just at the halfway point things delve into a different territory, before switching back briefly, and then just at the last, another beast entirely opens up.

At times the sound can come across as mildly repetitive, but the slightly obscure influences that do seep through make up for this. Title track ‘Room 414’ is where the sound borders on menacing, with a prowling and poised approach it swells and gravitates toward the revolutionary chorus and lightens up slightly, and then returns to its dark abode. Relying heavily upon the atmosphere the band create to really push the songs forward, the album occasionally stumbles slightly due to the aforementioned repetition but overall it creates a solid canvas on which The Erised do their work.

There are even r&b influences that creep through in Sukorukova’s delivery. This is particularly shown in ‘Pray’ where it picks up in emotional cadence, and the chorus drops away to just a slow beat and mild instrumentation that leave it all the more bare. Her lyricism delves into both heartbreak and regeneration, showing the frame of mind that one person can go through. Of course, it would be easy to read into some form of political context being hidden within these tracks, but that would simply take away from the innocence that Sukorukova brings.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ5L63MkrAY[/youtube]

Finale ‘Ghost’ carries the rock torch from ‘Liar’, with the second half turning in to a full-blown, hard rock track. The bass is natural and thick, while the drums are no longer electronic or triggered, they’re packed with human energy. This is an album that may not initially strike a chord, but upon further and deeper listening, the level of influence and composition is outstanding. The Erised have a unique formula that takes the idea of electronic music and exposes it to new styles that bring a fresh take.

7/10

‘Room 414’, the new debut album from Ukrainian band The Erised, is due out this Friday, the 3rd of June, on Med School Records.

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