PALE OBSESSION - Songs Of Love And Death

Pale Obsession - Songs Of Love And Death

4 songs
13:08 minutes


Finally the times are over where commercial radio stations in Luxembourg only play local pop bands like Dreamcatcher and Thorunn. Pale Obsession are probably the first band ever from this country to top the national charts with gothic rock music, and that deserves respect. But that's about it already, as their recipe is just too simple and straightforward. Their debut EP features four nice little tunes all under four minutes so that they can all be played between advertisement blocks on RTL, DNR and Eldoradio.

Some people think that Pale Obsession make something really new and original, but then I guess that those people have never heard HIM, for example. And in times where bands like the aforementioned HIM or the androgynous Placebo are selling out locations like the Atelier in no time at all, I don't see anything alternative, independent or inovative about that effeminate gothic rock genre. The keyboard melodies are penetratingly sweet, the drums have no real power, the guitars are too thin, and in the end everything points at Joe May's vocals that have a certain dark melancholy but also a lyrical triteness which is best illustrated with the pseudo-poetic quote "Too many times you let me down. I should have died when you were born" on the back cover.

Now you can take my word on what I write or not, I don't care. Pale Obsession are nice enough to put their entire album as an online stream on their Myspace site, so you can decide for yourself. They are not necessarily worse than many European second generation gothic pop rock bands that make the international charts, but they lack originality, momentum and the really grand moments that move your heart. Really not worth it. If they ever come out with a full length album, I strongly advise they take some risk and prove that they can also survive outside the three-minute radio limit. But until then, they can pride themselves to be among the only (or maybe really the only) band from Luxembourg to sell string thongs with their name on it.

By the way, singer Joe May used to play the bass guitar for Luxembourgish gothic pioneers Pronoian Made, a band that also was never really on my favourites list, but at least they were the first to introduce the genre to Luxembourg.

Back to Reviews