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Julien-K – Death to Analog

“Man this sounds familiar!” I said to myself as I began listening to Julien-K‘s debut album, Death To Analog. I soon found, reading through the band’s bio, that there’s a reason for that. Julien-K is actually the brainchild of two Orgy members, Amir Derakh and Ryan Shuck.

Julien-K is one of many side projects spawned from the still active Orgy and spring-boarding off that success and experience seems to be working, as the band has built up quite a considerable following. Citing reasons for this creative outlet, vocalist Shuck asks, “Why is there no band that’s really rocking my world? Where are the revolutionaries? I haven’t seen any bands stirring that up, bringing a new look, a new everything…

With Julien-K that’s what I’m going for. “I want to start a movement – a new religion.”

Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves, but the album was pretty decent.

With Death To Analog, the members of Julien-K seem to have drawn from a seemingly endless list of electronic and rock music influences, and in most cases pulled it off. I was constantly surprised by the familiar sounds I heard from song to song. There were a few that, inevitably, harkened to the earlier Depeche Mode days like “Maestro” and “Technical Difficulties,” while others brought to mind Nine Inch Nails. Sprinkle in some New Order, a bit of The Faint with some of their Orgy roots and you get a little better idea what I’m talking about. In fact, I think I even heard a tinge of some David Bowie and Duran Duran on “Spiral.”

As much as I did enjoy this album, there were some downsides too. The electro/synth-pop vibe did get a little cheesy sometimes. Take for instance, “Systeme De Sexe.” I think it was meant to be more of a dirty, sex stomper (think “Closer” by NIN), but it came across as a bit cheesy and comical.

Actually, my main problems with the album were along the same lines. It seemed at times like they were taking themselves so seriously while playing some pretty poppy tunes. It sadly recalled Blaqk Audio’s Cex Cells at times; an album I liked for ambition but disliked for silliness. The good thing is, Julien-K seems to have kept it in check for the most part; allowing it to get poppy without getting too crazy.

Considering the larger number of pros than cons and the interesting direction Death To Analog takes, I liked it. And I’m very curious what the future holds for them. Check it out! You may be interested to know that there will be a special edition released with bonus disc that includes remixes from Paul Oakenfold, Deadmau5, She Wants Revenge and more!

Death To Analog will be out March 10, 2009 on Metropolis Records.


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