In Silico

Pendulum

Review score: 64%

Review Date: September 2012
Reviewer: Tali
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3

When a band you like starts ‘experimenting’ it’s usually a sign that you shouldn’t pay too much for their next album. On the other hand, when an unknown band does it, it might just be time to look them up. I’ve never listened to Drum and Bass for anything more than background noise for writing, but this album, with its almost-rock tones, is actually pretty good.

The first time I remember listening to them was when one of their songs came up on a music channel. The thing I really remember was the video: it’s all about UFOs being caught on home videos, some of the clips are the videos, others are news stories. Quite a few feature the circular pattern off the album cover as the UFO and I suspect those clips are fake. On the other hand there are a couple that seem familiar like the floating dots in the sky (I might have watched some conspiracy theory TV shows). It was a lot of fun. I spent ages trying to work out which song the video was for and can now confirm it’s Granite. A little later Propane Nightmares and The Other Side became popular across various music channels and I finally noted down the band name.

The album is a mixture of songs that dabble in quite a few styles. Consistently though, they are fast paced and the lyrics are pretty creepy (where there are lyrics). Although the music is largely computer generated, it doesn’t feel like one guy with a keyboard and a computer; it feels like an actual band (Which it is).

Some of my favourite songs:

Propane Nightmares

This one is very strange, which is probably how it made its way onto Kerrang. The song starts out sounding like they’ve got several people on brass instruments. It stands out from the rest of the album with its odd style so that the lyrics are actually easy to sing along to and it’s not so fast paced that all tune is lost. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a good beat (doesn’t all drum and bass).

This is another one that had a video that got my attention: there’s something sinister going on in the... er... I think it’s a church. Maybe aliens took over? You’re welcome to take a look and see what you make of it since it’s on youtube.

Midnight Runner

It starts with the keyboard set to piano (and someone with maracas or something in the background). It’s a bit slower than the others and doesn’t have many words. It’s still something you can dance to and worth a listen.

The Other Side

The intro is slow, but it quickly builds into a song with words and a tune. The main point seems to be that evil computer people are trying to lure you away (to hell). It’s got the formula for a good rock song. I love the beat and tune. It’s great to sing along to.

This one also has a fun video to go with it. The evil computer voices are talking to one guy, who doesn’t seem to like it much. I’m sure this video is complete nonsense.

Granite

The lyrics on this song belong in the X-files, such as ‘they are watching’ along with some of the sound effects. It’s got something special to it that rocks and I love to listen to.

Maybe part of the appeal is the ‘first time I heard this band and liked their stuff’ feeling.

The Tempest

The Tempest is a long song at seven minutes and the longest on the album. The introduction is strange and it’s a lot slower than any of the others. It reminds me of some Clannad. Once the song really gets going it develops what sounds like a guitar riff and the singer has a rock energy (maybe because he’s trying to be heard over the rest of the song). Oddly, the end of the song is the fastest part, leaving the album on an energetic note.

The lyrics are a mystery to me. Once I tried to look them up, but the one I found had a question mark in the middle. That is why bands should release lyric sheets!

Album art

The only thing of note in the entire case (other than the CD) is a painting on the back of the booklet. It was unexpected and brilliant quality. There is a huge space ship hovering over a sunset while little flying saucers float out across the land. I want one for my wall.

Conclusion

It’s a good album. Once again, not rock or metal, but it’s got some of the qualities that appeal to a metal fan. It’s got a cross-over appeal. A bit of a culture shock at first, but they have made a great album.

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Track List (may vary)

  • Track
  • Showdown
  • Different
  • Propane Nightmares
  • Visions
  • Midnight Runner
  • The Other Side
  • Mutiny
  • 9,000 Miles
  • Granite
  • The Tempest