Death Picnic began in the ‘80s in Springfield, OH. Families were raised, and lives were lived before the band reunited in 2006. Since their reunion, original material has been the main focus of their time together. The Collection is just that — tracks from 2006 all the way until their most recent release. It was recorded by jamming, and recreating the tracks in Ableton Live. The rough production is intentional, left in place to honor the original feeling of the jam sessions they were created in.
“End of the World” has some more punk influence than other tracks on The Collection. The drums pound away behind the forlorn lyrics and gently wailing synths. It careens forward on the banging of a tom. The words of the lyrics combined with the delivery create an image of despair in the face of romance.
“Seeing Stars” is another upbeat selection from The Collection. The vocal delivery is reminiscent of surf-rock singers of the late ’50s. It is haunting yet enticing. The synths create a drone to accompany the melodic singing that takes the foreground of the track.
The first thought I had when I heard The Collection was that it reminded me a lot of The Cure. As the album played, I began to hear more of a sound like The Killers. As the final tracks played, it became apparent that Death Picnic was a happy marriage of the modernity of synth-pop influence and the looming atmospheric sound of goth.
The layers of sound on The Collection sometimes seem to operate independent of the other layers around it. Drum tracks remain constant, alongside synth patterns and vocal melodies that also remain constant. Through their addition and subtraction, the sound builds up to mountainous levels and falls gracefully back down to ground level. It’s an unconventional process, but it makes for a great listen.
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