While Invada have generally focused on soundtrack releases in the past couple of years they do still find time to plug new band fare every now and then. Their latest drop sees Berlin duo The KVB return to the label with new LP Only Now Forever. Mind you, the group’s mixture of Motorik grooves, psychy lyrics and synth-pop ... synths is cinematic enough that something from this record could easily crop up in a film sometime soon. Depeche Mode, obviously. New Order, obviously.
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The KVB are one of those bands who have finally reached the word-jumble era of their career: they’ve been prolific and steadfast enough that I dare not look back on my old reviews of their work for fear I’m going to find myself repeating the same jokes and tropes in describing them. Darkwave relative to Geoff Barrow’s Invada imprint, they’ve been a solid source of cold and calculated industrial jams for a long time. ‘Only Now Forever’ is more of the same, but it sparkles a little more, offering an ever-so-slightly more aspirational vibe in its usual mix of guitar riff sheen and self-perpetuating synth.
“On My Skin”, right? Rather than sound confined to an empty industrial building or a darkened void, it sounds almost outdoorsy, taking its metallic beats and kosmische synth aesthetic into a wide open space where things live and grow. The record’s title track is typical KVB fare -- immensely but mundanely pulsing, it taps into the brilliant mesmerisation that has marked their career since the off. And yet something about it sounds a little livelier, the sound carrying forward like celebration rather than procession.
The press release nods to this minor league change aptly: describing its sound, they call it “sanguine”, a perfect summation of what the KVB are doing. Amidst the usual, blanketing pessimism of their sound is something to hold on to. It still trances with the new-cold-darkwave of old, but ‘Only Now Forever’ is worth seeking out in its own right, separate from the discography it continues.
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