Vancouver-based Mode Moderne’s new release, Occult Delight, might classify as occultic, but it is delightful?
Light Organ, 2014
7.0 / 10
When the name of your band is Mode Moderne, you’re certainly not the sort of musicians who shy away from wearing your influences on your sleeve. At worst, you’ll be a called a cover band. At best, the influences are a departure point from which you move (hopefully) quickly beyond. This album, the group’s third release, is a bit of both.
Lead vocalist Philip Intilé conjours up images of Morrisey (“Time’s Up”), Depeche Mode’s David Gahan (“She, Untamed”) and hints at Ian McCulloch of Echo & The Bunnymen (“Baby Bunny). As their first album without guitarist Felix Fung, the band does an admirable job of mimicking the sounds of those bands as well as heavyweights like Joy Division and The Cure. It’s a style that’s been around since the late ’70s, and it’s obvious the band has spun Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures more than once, but most of the album manages to stay one step ahead of being just a review of the band’s influences.
The finest moment is album closer, “Running Scared”, which moves a bit further away from the band’s obvious loves of the past and promises greater things to come. It’s a song worth waiting for, and while this album falls a bit short of classic status, the band are on the right path. With another album or two under their belt, this band might create their own Unknown Pleasures or Meat is Murder.