S.P.Y and Hospital Records are back to keep your soul alive and your heart pounding as you step onto the frontline of the battle for music. Thankfully there’s injections of DNB to keep you moving, because DNB saves lives people! Gear up and watch your six, because here’s the Alone in the Dark review. I better get a, “Sir, yes Sir!”
“Keep on Searching” is a very fluid liquid drum and bass beat that is reminiscent of our own BC9’s “Going On” with its simple drawn out keyboard notes, quick snare drums, and ethereal synthetics. Top this off with some great female undulations and you get a smooth sailing opening that makes you want to keep searching for more. The layering is great, the beat is sharp, and this is a perfect track for the dance club or the bathtub.
“Love Unlimited” sounds more like an anime opening with its higher pitched piano riffs and breathy vocals, but this quickly changes as soul is added in with some amazing vocals and clapping. There’s a sound like steam being released as the vocals offer everything in the world to his love, if only the world were his to give, because they deserve everything and anything. One thing I cannot stand about modern “love songs” is that they feel fake; this is anything but fake. There’s some true layering and feeling in the vocals, and the bass drums provide the perfect heartbeat to back it up.
The title track, “Alone in the Dark,” takes a huge leap from the previous smooth tracks. There’s a sound of wind chimes, fast snare drums, and deep bass that drop you right into the mix. The train whistle of synthetics in the background warped into a dying machine voice is perfect. This is a sick beat that doesn’t just invite you to the dance floor, it shoves you out there and shoots laser beams at your feet! The crashing cymbals, synthetics that suck the air right out of the room, and the promise that your house will be demolished by the oncoming train if you don’t do what you are told is more than enough to keep you wanting to get out there. No pressure, right? I mean, it’s only grandma’s house with those special wind chimes that you built when you were a child. Can you picture her there, sitting in her rocking chair, the train in the distance as she crochets, and it’s all up to your sick dance moves to keep her living? And then, just as reality settles in, you find that someone overdosed on drugs and time is moving really, really slow as they hallucinate all of this. Damn. That’s some heavy stuff, bro.
“Soldiers” is a really interesting reggae beat with some cool vocals to remind us we are all soldiers of music. The drums are a mix of maraca, reggae, pounding bass synthetics, and dolphin-sounding pitches. The rapping in this is more poetry set to music and it’s really slick and fits perfectly with the DNB atmosphere set up by the instruments. Nothing is overpowered, everything is perfectly synced up. This one is a true testament to genre-blending DNB. It’s smooth, clear, and it keeps you soldiering on.
Keeping with the theme of soldiers is the final track, “Black Ops,” coming in with a heart-pounding bass, synthetic horns, and a tension building high-pitched wave that drops you right into the middle of a war zone of layered sounds. You were taken from the mission by a man who only says, “Give it to them.” Your gear is gone. Your armor is gone. The beast in front of you stands 50-feet tall and screams with a horn that makes you deaf on one side. Quick wooden drum beats signal the first round as you barrel roll to avoid the pounding bass drum strikes. If you’re going to get out of this one alive you’re going to have to keep moving. The sound drops into round two. More dodging and then you see a weakness. You jump and drive a chunk of metal you find into the neck of the beast using the skills you learned as a trained soldier. “Give it to them.” Your mantra now as you battle on! Then, just as the fight nears the end, you hear that mantra repeated over the loudspeaker and you realize the beast isn’t dead as its giant foot crushes your skull. Game over.
Whew! That was a long review but it was totally worth it. S.P.Y delivers an amazing mix of love, soldiers, and death by skull crushing. Now I need to turn all the lights on, rock back and forth on the couch holding my legs close to my chest, call my grandma, and thank god that the pen is mightier than the sword and I’ve chosen my weapon wisely.
Pick up this awesome thunder lizard of an album only from S.P.Y and Hospital Records here.