Stranger Things Dark Wave Edition.
Watch Clark released three EP’s across 2021 and the duo, Paul Furio and Andrea Keller, know how to write a powerful synth-pop record. Watch draws the listener in is that whilst the bubblegum power chords are there for the base of the music, everything from its production to the lyrics to the atmosphere is cult sci-fi edginess.
“Assimilation” was the third of the EP’s and where I joined on the bandwagon. The four track EP contains one short instrumental piano and synth piece and three absolute synth bangers. “Piper Perri” is a six-minute danceathon that takes cues from Freezepop but adds crunchy guitars, a Europop sleaze to it and a smearing of sadness and depression over the top. It feels like it belongs in 1988 and evokes Soft Cell’s non-single works where there’s a deep chaotic layer of manic anxiety hiding under the riffs. It is a superb track and leads the way for the best way to break into Watch Clark. The other two big numbers are “Variation” and “Our Passion, Our Demise” and both are darker, slower, broodier and sludgier. The drums are thick but the basslines are thicker still as the tracks pulsate and numbly march onwards. There is an element of darkwave throughout Watch Clark’s music but these two tracks embody that oppressive dance machine perfectly. Add in some lightly vocoded vocals about feeling not very special or unique and being lost in the world and you have dark wave perfection.
This edgy, cinematic and gravity pulled dark synth music can be really overblown but Watch Clark have found a fantastic balance between pure riff hedonism and total self crisis. “Assimilation” is a great EP and rounds off a trilogy that when combined is a full album of existentialism to dance around to. File under synthpop for the sad and jaded!
Recommended track: Piper Perri
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