Once a duo defined by analog synths and Andrew "Dice" Clay impressions, Youngstown's Gil Mantera's Party Dream has reinvented itself as GMPD, in a telling nod to the '80s synth band known as OMD. The addition of live drummer Anthony Paterra of Pittsburgh-based prog soundscapists Zombi completes the transition to credible music trio (Paterra also produced Dreamscape). The title track could be a 1984 New Order B-side, a humming, seven-minute, dance-floor barnburner - filled with resonant guitar lines, galloping synths, driving keyboard riffs and the kind of air-raid sirens you'd hear at a rave, or on an early Public Enemy album. Endless jams like "Supra Natura" and "Eyes of Blue" somehow drone and rock. And a slightly softer version of "Ballerina" invites the revival of the term "new romantic." - D.X. FerrisÊ
While it's impressive that this Akron duo recorded an 11-track album of techno and trance tunes without turntables and computers, it doesn't necessarily make the music any more compelling. Hand-churned vanilla ice cream is still vanilla, and that's the case here. Sure, there's a likeable, playful aspect to the rattling opening track, and the bleeps and blips on the following 10 tunes (none of the tracks have titles) have a nice metallic quality, especially the buoyant, cartoon-soundtrack-like beats that emerge about midway through. But they're hardly emotive in any way, which can't be said about the best electronic music produced by guys like Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. - Jeff Niesel
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.