Before I even heard a note of the EP Enemy Numbers by DOVIAK I was interested. He co-wrote and co-produced the last three Johnny Marr albums, The Messenger, Playland and Call The Comet. I’m a big fan of The Smiths and always thought Marr’s guitar playing was fantastic.
DOVIAK states with his latest release that he was “trying to achieve some kind of contemporary John Barry meets electronica, somewhere between The Last Shadow Puppets and Portishead with themes of espionage and betrayal delivered with a kind of abstract ambiguity."
I love this concept. There was something I always loved about dark noir. It doesn't matter the medium but something about a detective following a case in a dark city gets my imagination flaring. This idea certainly seems fulfilled and some songs were so emerged in this aesthetic it felt cinematic.
The EP gets going with “Solid State Machines.” This song felt a bit like a chase scene. That being said the music reminded me of one of my favorite groups - The Knife. The lead synth in this song was killer on this track and get propelled even further with an electronic kick. The other scene for this song is a gothic, vampire based nightclub. On top of that the lead vocal is very catchy.
“Solid State Machines” is just the warm up. “Empire” is seriously cinematic. The beat sounds like a mix of Gorillaz and Portishead. It’s full of mystery. There are dark textures that paint the song that are combined with a dynamic bass and beat. The horns on the chorus might send shivers down your spine. If you have seen the movie Sin City, I thought the music would have worked wonderfully in that.
“Intermission” is exactly that. It’s a little like a filler with dark orchestral elements but I found it to be a useful transition into “After The City Falls.” “After The City Falls” might be the highlight. The music sounds somewhere between “The Gloaming” by Radiohead and Portishead. There is a lot of atmosphere here and it blends very well with the powerful vocals which actually sounded a bit like Robert Smith from The Cure. There are some very unique transitions on this song and it kept me guessing as to where it might go next.
Last up is “Enemy Numbers” which might the catchiest chorus. If there is a “single,” I think this would be it.
I loved this EP from beginning to end. It’s cohesive, unique and one of the few musical releases that seems to have a visual aspect. Highly recommended.
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