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    She Wants Revenge:

    She Wants Revenge

    Tue, 31 Jan 2006 09:07:56

    Album Reviews: She Wants Revenge by She Wants Revenge

    It's easy to hear a band like She Wants Revenge and dismiss it as the work of some opportunistic posers, who jumped on the Interpol-Killers bandwagon to make a quick buck before the disco punk craze blows over. But you'd be wrong: She Wants Revenge is actually the work of two very dedicated but not especially talented acolytes of early '80s synth-pop and darkwave, who would still be toiling in obscurity were it not for the prior success of bands like Interpol and The Killers.

    You can see why She Wants Revenge got signed to a major label, and even why they've been getting lots of industry buzz and "alternative" radio play. If Interpol is the Joy Division of our time, and the Killers are the Psychedelic Furs, then She Wants Revenge is supposed to be the Depeche Mode, and on a superficial level, they play the part well. Singer Justin Warfield intones his overwrought lyrics with faux British frigidity, while Adam 12's icy synths drone in minor keys over robotic dance beats and hypnotically repetitive guitar hooks. It's initially pretty convincing, especially when they lead off the album with its best track, the darkly seductive "Red Flags and Long Nights."

    But by the time the album gets to its fourth track, "Out of Control," an utterly vapid paean to dancefloor hookups that boasts some of the worst lyrics in recent memory ("She likes disco and tastes like a tear"), She Wants Revenge has lost whatever momentum it can muster. Warfield and Adam 12 may be fluent in the vocabulary of synth-rock, but they haven't used that fluency to form a single original idea. Everything here is so derivative of Depeche Mode and Joy Division it's almost creepy, the musical equivalent of stalking. The album regains some sense of urgency late in the game with "Tear You Apart," which sounds like New Order covering a Nine Inch Nails song, but it's not enough to lift this set out of the realm of mediocrity. She Wants Revenge may have been toiling over this sound longer than some of their dance-rock brethren, but unfortunately they have less to show for it. -- Andy Hermann

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