I can’t really think of another artist out there today that sounds quite like Depeche Mode’s resident iconic voice box Dave Gahan. That is, until I heard Aaron Thompson belt out some verses during the opening track off the latest EP from Empty Streets! Modern Electro and Darkwave combined with Old School New Wave and Synth-driven Pop, Age Of Regret is a blast from the past made in the present that’s resilient, rowdy, and immediately resonates.
The elegantly and eloquently crafted follow-up to 2020’s Demons, Age Of Regret expands on the themes and synthetic world initially created by Thompson (Better known as “Small Hands” while performing in various Adult features) getting more driven and dense to bring fans six hypnotic tracks (Plus a cover of Songs: Ohia’s “I’ve Been Riding with a Ghost”) that illuminate struggles with mental health, isolation, handling Tourette’s and other aspects of Thompson’s life in the most beautiful way possible.
Like Tangerine Dream’s masterful electronic scores of the ’80’s or Wang Chung circa To Live And Die In L.A., “Pleaser” comes to life like a warm, pulsating sunrise in the distance with steady beats, glistening keyboard rhythm’s, and swirling synths that evoke a hazy dream-like state to start Age Of Regret with Thompson’s commanding voice acting as a guiding light. The title track is a steady stomp tempered by Thompson’s even delivery while “Millions” is another kind of monster, treading modern Boy Band territory or a mature Boy Band feel almost (Think JC Chasez’s underappreciated solo banger Schizophrenic from 2004) with a twinge of Aesthetic Perfection thrown in for good measure.
“All You Deserve” features additional production from The Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman and could easily serve as the soundtrack for a day in the life of film student turned barista turned exotic dancer Naomi from our recent Pulp Rawk review of Club 42 by Joanna Angel (Who just so happens to be Thompson’s partner) which you can read here if interested and then “Hearththrob Of The Ages” is a glistening, heartfelt futuristic ballad that sets the tonal course for the rest of the EP.
“Was That Not Enough” is a riotous and righteous Electro rager fueled by big beats with Faster Pussycat guitarist Ace Van Johnson lending some licks before the aforementioned cover of Songs: Ohia’s “I’ve Been Riding with a Ghost” shows up to wrap things up with a decidedly more vibrant version that trades the twang for technology.
Age Of Regret arrives on August 6th through Cleopatra Records. Pre-orders are up now and can be checked out when you head here or here. For the latest on Empty Streets, follow the trail of socials by clicking here or here. And to support Thompson more and get an intimate look inside his more adult-oriented material, head to his OnlyFans page when you click here.