Six musical artists made a kickstarter pledge to form a band for making music in a different way to how they usually play. It was successful and the band was called Digital Noise Academy. The six in question? Ken Andrews, Sharky Laguana, Charlotte Martin, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, Fernando Sanchez and Zadorozny. I came at the group from the perspective of being a long-term avid Charlotte Martin fan and I’d say that’s the least easiest cross over entry – this is a great rock band album.
“Stop Running” opens with a fantastic power rock anthem. The guitar and drums really power through and the vocals have an almost emo edge to them with the visceral scream of Stop Running in the choruses whilst the backing vocals hold a more haunting soothing quality. This is one to absolutely mosh to. “Melting Inside” then takes the group to a more industrial electronic rock. Pulsating on just one note in the verses its up to atmosphere to graze your eyes and build the tension which transforms into something akin to the Silent Hill games when devilish whispers growl for the verses. There’s something to be said throughout the album for the amount of change ups the drums perform in a track and here it really shines through. The drummer has more loops than a circus act.
Title track “Synemy” follows with a beautiful atmospheric rock ballad. The production makes all the guitars, synths and bass feel like they are softly bleeding over the speakers while the vocals pass through like a siren. The chorus is perfection and the song has such an epic sense of scale – start here if you’re looking for a sample of how great the album is. “Thursday Night Party” then swaps gears for an upbeat catchy pop rock track. The M83 influence bursts through here with all the hooks of trendy rock that has led to a small selection of rock bands topping charts with the same style of late. This is the mobile phone advert song only ten times less annoying! “Star Clusters” is another brite track although it spends most of the first half building on the chugging guitars and piano power chords before it explodes from the second chorus onwards into a lighter swaying anthem.
“Circulation” keeps the trait of fast guitars and/or drums whilst giving a slow vocal delivery and the juxtaposition works really well. This has a really interesting mix on the drums and guitar so that the percussion rumbles instead of hits and the guitar is so thin like a bolt of electricity, it makes the track stand out sonically. “Old Ways” returns to more traditional production for an acoustic guitar and echo drum led track which builds up over the three minutes. It’s something Digital Noise Academy has a penchant for so that no track ever sits still. Extremely catchy one liner for a chorus too. “Gone Cold” sees for the first time piano take the fore with some draw organ for good measure. This song sounds like Charlotte Martin doing Radiohead without her singing. It’s broody, meticulous and bruised.
“What’s Left” see’s the bass brought up front in the mix for the mid tempo track that has a lot of electronic embellishments. It’s like the cup of coffee before one final hurrah which is “Touch” which showcases some hippy pop-rock at its finest. Catchy riffs, great group vocals and a general feel good feeling about the whole thing despite its want to throw unusual chords and notes in among the usual.
Digital Noise Academy’s “Synemy” is a fantastic album outright. You can hear little bits of each other’s styles throughout but they all merge nicely without too much compromise. Six artists on top of their game. What more could you want?