A/V Room









Ladytron - Witching Hour

Review: Jack Foley

LADYTRON describe their third album, Witching Hour, as their darkest, most emotional effort yet. But despite the harder sound, it's not to be described as 'their rock album'!

Certainly, on the strength of past singles, Destroy Everything You Touch and Sugar, the band seem to be fizzing like never before, mixing their trademark synthesizer sound with plenty more besides.

If there is a way to categorise the album, though, it's the sound of an electronic band rediscovering their leftfield indie roots with the help of super-producer Jim Abbiss (of DJ Shadow, Placebo and Kasabian fame).

As such, the production values are top-notch even if not all of the 13 tracks register as strongly as they might.

Highlights include the strident opening track, High Rise, with its powerful slabs of guitar and frenetic beats - an effort that really sets out the vibrant nature of the album.

The unashamedly angry Destroy Everything You Touch crops up second, plunging you into familiar territory and maintaining the album's sure-footed approach.

While International Dateline is a synth-driven slice of dark disco pop that evokes memories of the Depeche Mode of the Enjoy The Silence era.

Further tracks to look out for include Fighting in Built Up Areas, an electro-goth workout that exemplifies the album at its darkest and most menacing (complete with urban commentary), while that same electronic coating is applied to the bouncier Weekend, which cranks up the dance levels to the max.

The best news, however, is that whenever the album seems to have become stuck in one sound, it tosses in another.

The short ambient moment that is CMYK catches you off-guard and has you pining for more of its sedate melancholia, while the tender ballad, Beauty Two, is a hauntingly effective change of pace that marks the album at its most low-key and emotional.

All The Way, meanwhile, draws things to a close in suitably seductive fashion, setting one of the most hypnotic vocals Helen Marnine has ever put forward against the sort of dreamy soundscape that Ulrich Schnauss would be proud of.

Ladytron may not know how to write happy records, by their own admission, but the dark trip they take you on with Witching Hour contains some genuinely spellbinding moments.

Track listing:
Disc: 1
1. High Rise
2. Destroy Everything You Touch
3. International Dateline
4. Soft Power
6. AmTV
7. Sugar
8. Fighting In Built Up Areas
9. Last One Standing
10. Weekend
11. Beauty 2
12. White Light Generator
13. All The Way

Disc: 2
1. Once Upon A Time In The East
2. Destroy Everything You Touch
3. Sugar
4. Seventeen

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