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With all due respect to one hell of a debut, it'd just be silly to discuss Whitechapel's Under a Grey Sky without comparing it to the seminal electro acts that are responsible for the Cleveland trio's sound. Where the no-wave revivalist Interpol sounded a little like Joy Division, and the gothier Kittens for Christian channeled the mopy Mancs, Whitechapel is midway between Joy Division and New Order, the revolutionary synth-dance band it spawned -- with a dash of Depeche Mode's "People Are People" tossed in for good measure.

As an acoustic artist on Cleveland's open-mic circuit, singer-guitarist Ben Childs was hailed for a dour croon like a hybrid of Morrissey and Glenn Danzig. Now he's finding his own voice in rave-ups like "Love Goes" that chase away the chill from icy ballads like "Listen." At the center of every song are Eric Pollarine's springy bass lines; keyboardist Nathan Tomasch's simple beats trace the melodies. Forget the last decade's legacy of cerebral techno; Whitechapel is dance music for the body.

More by D.X. Ferris

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