"Traffic" (Album, 2007)
Days of Fate are one of those bands that, once heard, you wonder how it is they've already released three albums before popping up on your radar. Drawing on the rich tradition of electronic pop from England in the early 1980s, with Traffic this German four-piece have produced a solid set of electronic pop that delves deeper than most of their peers. Fans of more recent Apoptygma Berzerk albums should find a connection herein. Apparently three years in the making, this successfully blends rock and indie elements into their core sound. Although songs like Something Special unshakably remind one of Depeche Mode wannabes Elegant Machinery's early releases, this album suddenly takes on an altogether more sophisticated and memorable turn with The Fateful Garden. Built around a mournful grand piano melody, Torsten K's voice is perfectly suited to this impressive track. Just a shame that it is the shortest entry on the entire album. Instrumental Liquid Fame also stands out not least to an unlikely (but surprisingly effective) sample of Alan Rickman from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone!
You could spend a lifetime trying to keep track of the bands coming out of Europe that have been influenced by 80s electro pop and, frankly, you'd largely be wasting your time. The problem with most is that they simply come across as enthusiastic amateurs. Their knowledge of their favourite bands far outstripping any songwriting talent of their own; and whenever they put pen to paper usually wind up sounding like cheap and tacky imitations. With Traffic though, partly through composition, partly due to performance, and partly thanks to some stylish production touches (a nod of recognition here to co-producer Left), Days of Fate have produced an intriguing album. Absurd Minds singer Stefan Gro▀mann provides both the stylish monochromatic booklet photography and design. He also gets to exercise his vocal chords on a duet with Torsten K. on the cleverly constructed Rising Again. This, along with songs like Lonely People, demonstrate that Days of Fate not only have talent but know how to express it. The eleven track album is supplemented by a four track remix section, two by Days of Fate themselves, meanwhile The Pussy Gourmets remix Lonely People whilst Versus takes on Final Destination. 7/10
Rob Dyer (May, 2007)
Official website: http://www.daysoffate.com