Illustrators is a fresh act out of Germany that consists of the brothers Lukas and Maximilian along with their musical compatriots Marcel and Marius. This indie electronic-band was founded less than two years ago and originally formed as an instrumental group. There is a definite market for that, but in Illustrators case it was more of a cover for the fact that no capable singers had presented themselves yet within the band’s network. Thankfully, the group rehearses often and upon a particular jam session, member Marcel took to the mike and it was surprisingly clear that he was the man for the job. Building on their newfound confidence, Illustrators embarked on a summer tour in 2013 and started the recording process soon after with their debut album Cut It Out being released earlier this year.
In only three tracks, Illustrators manages to paint the perfect sonic scene of what their homemade rock meets electronica should look like. Marcel’s voice adds character and emotion to every word, and the melodies are always in complement. I don’t find it coincidental that these guys are making great choices musically.
Europe is putting out amazing talent and the last few years it has been ever more saturated especially on the front of synthesized rock or pop-rocktronica if you will. The sound is trendy and relatively new, but Illustrators manage to stick out. There are embedded elements of The Killers present, but Marcel is the biggest distinguisher – he brings a trademark sound through his vocal delivery that is Illustrators and only Illustrators.
“Remember The Old Times” has a good balance of dance rock and mellow synth while “Grotesque” is more heavy on the grit of late ‘70s punk sophistication. My favorite cut has got to be the closer, “Runaway.” The synths pan and reverberate like a sweet exciting lullaby and then the hats dance away with solid backbeat to support and drive. Marcel shows off his dynamic range and in turn the song reaches new heights. Only time will tell what may become of these guys, but for such an abridged first effort, they are more than impressive and have much more material to showcase.
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