What an amazing slab of electro awesomeness is Amor/Noir by Strvngers! If you’re looking for an introduction, or more accurately, a lesson in how you do Electro/Darkwave right then Amor/Noir is the album you need to own yesterday! Or at least on April 20th when it’s actually out to the masses.
But I digress.
Strvngers has produced the ultimate playlist for the perfect night at your favorite goth club by hitting all the peaks and valleys one would experience within a typical night out. “WanderLust” is that beautiful opener it needs to be with an overwhelming sense of hope and positivity as you’re getting ready for your night out and before the drinks start flowin’ (Or at least when the pre-gaming begins) while “Vanity” is that moment when you hit the dance floor for the first time that evening. “Fetisha” and “Leder Dame” are the eye opening moments realizing goth clubs just ain’t like other clubs and then “Hexxxed” provides the theme for the midway point of the night where you’re slightly blurry-eyed and wondering if you’ll make it through the night until “Pink Coffin” sees you back on the dance floor once again.
But let’s backtrack a bit because the songs within Amor/Noir deserve more than a glazed over write up of a proposed storyline.
“WanderLust” starts this synthetic beast amidst a flurry of beats and heavenly vox bringing to mind Apoptygma Bezerk while “Vanity” ups that aforementioned electro awesomeness with a more steady beat outpouring and a fantastical sonic landscape laid down in the background. Not to be confused with the Orgy track of the same name, “Fetisha” is the one that turns Amor/Noir on its’ head beginning as a dreamy love song then turning into a visceral nightmare especially when Maria Joaquin utters lines like “Fetisha, you’ve got a hold of me/The sex would be better if you would fuck me in leather” and “The sex would be better if you wore latex and leather”
“Leder Dame” is almost like a The Fame-era Lady Gaga song with Joaquin’s vocal cadence here. That is, if Gaga guested on a track by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult with a repeated refrain like “Leather, Leather/I love my Lady Leather”. Then “This Is Not A Phase” is a space age driving synth-electro masterpiece that’s a glorious anthem and almost like a play off the Rick and Morty theme (Which is not a diss by any means).
“Hexxxed” is a sprawling world of Spaghetti Western-tinged, laid back fuzzed-out beautifully soulful electro excellence leading into the pretty Pop of “Pink Coffin” followed by “Verisimilitude” which gets kudos for the use of that word alone within the song and shares some DNA with fellow Negative Gain labelmates Mr. Kitty.
“Lethargy” is like Bananarama mixed with Dead Or Alive meaning it’s the greatest club jam ever while “Éxtasis Voraz” takes the mechanical excellence of early Nine Inch Nails (Think the more unhinged moments of The Downward Spiral) and puts it in a blender with the broad synthetic soundscapes created on the regular by The Birthday Massacre.
“Noir” is that one song just destined for some sleek vampire movie or as the staple for a local goth night (Lookin’ at you Xmortis and VaudEvil) with these Korn-like choruses combining Jonathan Davis’ gruff yet soulful delivery when Joaquin screams out “I wanna be your sex/I wanna see your sex/I wanna touch your sex/I wanna eat your sex” with Middle Eastern flourishes to give the track an otherworldly feel.