Strange Cargo - Review
This project is the brainchild of Nico J hailing from South Africa.
On this debut album we're presented with ten excellent atmospheric electro-pop tracks. Fans of mind.in.a.box
and other synthpop style bands that take more of a somber, melodic approach to music will really enjoy this album.
The album takes a fairly laid-back approach with several mid-tempo pieces sporting subdued vocals and undulating waves of layered electronics. Each piece drifst along, slowly building and morphing into each new track sometimes with a heavier presence weighed down with dark, melodic synth loops and a more pronounced beats to move the music along. Other times the somewhat monotonous compositions somehow maintain the listeners attention and interest.
Overall this album is great as a whole, it holds together well with a solid homogenous feel though maybe at times just a bit monotonous, though I never really got tired of listening to the entire album from start to finish any one of dozens of times. Favorite tracks still stand out a bit which have been featured a lot on our Gothic Paradise Club Mix radio show. "Flowers in the Attic" is one of these with the somewhat heavier, darker melodic feel. A definite favorite is "These Soft Machines" with a mechanical feel that fits the track perfectly. It also stands out a bit with a different, heavier rhythm and song structure. "Amber" also comes out with an anthem-like feel with lots of emotion and energy, which isn't very typical of this band as the mood usually remains very mechanical and robotic. "Dragonfly" also comes on strong with energetic and melodic synths, though still remaining somewhat mid-tempo and somber. As we near the end of the album the title track is another heavy, dark but catchy piece, but the finale really resides with "Oblivion". This last piece stands out as the heaviest, fastest dance-friendly piece with a lot of heavy, layered electronics over the fast-paced beats.
Overall this a great newcomer band to the electro-pop scene. This debut album really shines and I look forward to whatever more this solo artist has to offer in the future.
Label: Metropolis Records