[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
He just keeps upping the ante. This is just the first taste of where our maestro has decided to take his sound which proves to be a delectable concoction of pure synthiepop bliss and darkwave absolution; ‘Post Brimstone’ without doubt contains the most accomplished pieces he has yet managed to come up with and bear in mind he’s only been at this a few years. Where he winds up at the 10 or 15 year mark is anyone’s guess but having followed along since his debut I’m looking forward to it and here’s why: no matter what style he chooses to work in it will be due to his interest in personal expression and not the calculated, cynical motives which plague the scene he’s part of like late stage leprosy. People love to see their names but this one could care less. For all the attention his project generates these days for him it’s about imagination and just how far it can go via technology.
In spite of buzzwords and catch phrases being justified as ‘lyrical content’ by others, IIOIOIOII have sincerity by the boatload. Astoundingly, he manages to work in a Nero reference during one tune and not miss a beat or lose focus. So yes, we have a seriously minded artist driving the machines who is no slouch in the composition department. Somehow every one of the songs on this release sound bigger and more nuanced than ever before. The verses lead into very stately choruses and it is all anchored by a demanding exactitude for voluptuous melodies which flow in and out of the proceedings with an intuitive vengeance. If you’re looking for angst ridden sniveling or emotionally stunted views of the world, then he’s not your guy.
There’s a reason his first album was named ‘Reflect’…
These are not idle exercises in dancefloor distraction and they certainly were not undertaken in the hopes of popularity. IIOIOIOII save the best one for the end and what a splendid rendering of darkwave romanticism it is! He is equally at home doing mid tempo work alongside the waltz he concludes ‘Post Brimstone’ with which to me only reaffirms that he has no fixed plan for the music he makes. In 2015, there is not much incentive to color outside the lines yet he continues to do so. He likes details, he enjoys challenges and just as he has done all throughout his short yet remarkable career he is all about atmosphere.
Really looking forward to the album, I’m not going to lie. This EP beckons every single time I turn my stereo on, so let’s just hope the wait isn’t too long.