Dark Days

Cygnets

Independent release, 2012

http://www.cygnetsnotswans.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/31/2012

Upon hearing Cygnets, one probably wouldn’t surmise the trio is from Canada. In fact, you’d probably think their dark brand of synth-pop emanates from across the Atlantic and was penned 15+ years ago. But unlike a lot of the English outfits they take influence from, Cygnets inject a very dance friendly vibe with plenty of glorious beats to their rather ominous wordplay, choosing to not rely on just gloom with their songcraft.bim_ad_daily_vault_print_250

Equal parts post-punk, New Wave, and ‘80s pop, Cygnets utilize an endless arsenal of synth hooks with rapid fire drumming exquisitely, just as they do more guitar driven post-punk riffage that’s complemented by the keys. Logan Turner’s deep voice sets well with the bleak songwriting, as he repeatedly yelps out ambiguous phrases. Amazingly, despite the underlying brooding, every track here leaves your body unable to sit still, the undeniable energy finding its way through the abyss.

At 14 songs, this is a lengthy listen, though the band does an excellent job of switching gears so as to not drift off into background music mode. Tracks like “Teenager” take their upbeat synth-punk to an entirely new level, while later in the disc the shorter “Rx Victims” illustrates the band succeeds at brevity, too. Maybe the most interesting point on the disc, “Sarah Smith” builds and then erupts into an ebullient display of frustration and power – definitely the most intense moment contained herein.

The band are giving away Dark Days as well as their entire discography for free at their site, though just cause they’re handing the discs out don’t go thinking this is some haphazard effort of mediocre arrangements. On the contrary, it took chief songwriter Logan Turner hundreds of demos to come up with these songs, and the result is a highly polished mesh of nods to luminaries like Ian Curtis and Morrissey yet with an updated, modern spin.

Rating: A-

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© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.