The Doom Patrol 

Angel (self-released)

It's almost a curse to be an industrial rock band from Cleveland. The comparisons to native sons such as Nine Inch Nails and Filter are inevitable, and the Doom Patrol -- former Mr. Harker's Sideshow singer Theo Johnson and multi-instrumentalist David Eden -- will likely get pigeonholed with those acts. But only one song on the Euclid group's debut, the noisy "Velocity Overkill," bears much resemblance to NIN. The other tracks recall European acts, specifically pop-oriented goth/industrial acts such as Xymox, Ultravox, and Dead Can Dance. And that's not a bad thing. After all, those groups were rooted as much in early electronic as goth and industrial, and they made music that was more about mood than angst.

While the Doom Patrol often tries too hard to come off as dark and disturbed by adding multiple tracks and echoes that sound affected, the main thing the duo's debut has going for it is a variety of textures. There's a shimmering quality to "Where," a track that seamlessly incorporates a sequence of rapping. Some of the vocals in "It Always Seemed Alive" are filtered through a synthesizer, and a spoken word interlude (with obscure references to gunshots) introduces "Wicked." The harpsichord-like synths of "Lullabye," the combination of falsetto vocals and punchy drumbeats in "Belief," and the scattershot synthesizers of "Air" make the group sound like a gloomier Depeche Mode. Now, if it could just lose the silly name.


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