"Puppet Love" (Album, 2011)
Blending elements of synthpop, industrial and goth, UK act Dreams Divide (David Crout: vocals/synths/programming, Gem Davison: vocals/synths,Richard Wright: live synth) come together on this their self-released debut album (currently available via the Bandcamp website). It's a familiar list of artists that give them inspiration, but a taste also for the rockier side of things gets reflected in some stylistic touches that sees Puppet Love span genre boxes rather than neatly slot into one of them.
Opener John really makes me think of Geoff (Tenek/The Nine) Pinckney’s style of composition with its large, swish synth pads strings and a firm pop song sensibility. Desire sounds like a Ministry of Sound remixed Edge of Dawn, whilst others up the trance backing – which is definitely no bad thing in my book - and could translate well live. Complex could almost have been on the last Devo album, and to me represents a space where Dreams Divide stand out the most. Its memorably jaunty chorus is a gloriously manipulative melody up there with the best electronic pop. Had it all been closer to this then, this may well have earned extra points. As it stands, it just lacks a little consistency, a special something to recommend unconditionally. Nevertheless, all the right elements are present to step this up another level, I reckon a bit more introspection and digging a bit deeper could produce a really distinctive second album that bucks the difficult ‘second album’ trend. We'll see… In the meantime let’s mark Puppet Love up at a very respectable: 7/10
Rob Dyer (July 2011)
Edge of Dawn