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Album Review

Greek electro-goth outfit Blue Birds Refuse to Fly's second album, Anapteroma, sounds like a full-fledged throwback to the point some 15 to 20 years before its release when there was a bonding of scenes between certain subsets of the post-industrial disco audience and the lachrymose gloom of the goth kids, a sound that proved that it was indeed possible to take lots of ecstasy, dance your face off, and still sound like a weedy little Gloomy Gus. Leader Kyriakos Poursanides certainly has the latter part down cold: his guttural baritone, sounding not unlike Bauhaus' Peter Murphy with a rattling chest cold, is the band's sonic focal point, and it distracts mightily from the otherwise appealing dark electronic pop vibe of the album, which is closer to the atmospheric, melodic side of Violator-era Depeche Mode. With its instantly catchy blend of a smartly strummed acoustic guitar, bell-like synth figures, and a propulsive, skittering machine beat, "Play with Me" sounds like the great lost electro-pop hit of 1990, but the song is just about ruined by Poursanides' strained, affected vocals. If he were clever, he'd get in a real singer — say, someone in the manner of Lisa Gerrard or even Liz Fraser — and Blue Birds Refuse to Fly could show real promise, in an unapologetically retro sort of way.

Anapteroma, Blue Birds Refuse to Fly
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