ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Michael Kasparis continues his quest to be a one-person music factory. Beyond his work in delivering ultra-intense punk vibes with Anxiety and The Lowest Form, he’s also the driving force behind his DIY label Night School. Since 2015, he’s been tinkering with manic electronica under the guise of his alter ego Apostille, joining the ranks of those who’ve dared to tread the unlikely tightrope connecting hardcore with club-friendly electro-pop. It’s a trend that in its mid-2000s heyday witnessed Daryl Palumbo’s leap from the scathing screamo of Glassjaw to the dance-floor-friendly emo-pop of Head Automatica, and Wesly Eisold’s evolution from American Nightmare to Cold Cave; yet with Prisoners of Love and Hat, Kasparis achieves a vibrancy that outshines his predecessors.
Building on the foundation laid by 2018’s Choose Life, this latest record fully embraces ’80s synth-pop influences. The result is a collection of songs that expertly captures the essence of soulful lyrics, classic pop melodies and a passionate lead singer fused with dehumanised beats. It’s a blueprint reminiscent of Soft Cell, Silicon Teens and the early bands under the Mute Records banner. What sets Prisoners… apart, however, is its production. Despite the constant infusion of chaotic breakbeats and gnarled electronic squeals, the album somehow manages to sound both intimate and genuinely emotional.
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