RAUNCHY
"A Discord Electric"

(Lifeforce)

01. Dim the Lights and Run
02. Rumors of Worship
03. Blueprints For Lost Sounds
04. NGHT PRTY
05. Street Emperor
06. Shake Your Grave
07. Tiger Crown
08. Big Truth
09. The Great Depression
10. The Yeah Thing
11. Ire Vampire
12. Gunslingers and Tombstones

RATING: 7.5/10

The time has arrived to tell it like it is. RAUNCHY are incapable of making a bad album. They are however capable of making a mildly disappointing one, at least compared with the benchmark of excellence established with albums like 2006's "Death Pop Romance" and 2008's grand slam "Wasteland Discotheque". The emphasis should be on "mildly" since "A Discord Electric" is further validation an approach to making albums that expertly mix modern metal aggressiveness with impeccable pop melodies in a way that is uniquely RAUNCHY.

Whereas "Wasteland Discotheque" was rife with songs that would shock the system with adrenaline-charged aggressiveness then hook the listener with unforgettable cleanly sung choruses (e.g. "Warriors"), the impact made by songs of a similar nature on "A Discord Electric" is only occasionally as forceful. Overall, the emphasis on melody over aggression satisfies, but doesn't always electrify. Regardless, a trio of songs in "Street Emperor", "Night Prty", and "Rumors of Worship" are quintessentially RAUNCHY for the deft blend of hard driving riffs/rhythms, poppy choruses, and exquisitely composed keyboard melodies and electronics. All are grand additions to the body of work. Following close behind is opener "Dim the Lights and Run", which exhibits a more controlled approach that burns hotter with each play and ends up standing out as a song that is classic RAUNCHY on the one hand and a different kind of poppy sizzler on the other. Attempting some expansionism, "Blueprints for Lost Sounds" is a mixed bag; the main melody quite good, the harmonica bits somewhat ill fitting.

After a hip style shifter called "Shake your Grave", a greater emphasis on riff-centric heaviness is found on the album's second half. In that regard "Gunslingers and Tombstones", "Ire Vampire", and the rather dynamic (both compositionally and for Kasper Thomsen's vocal versatility) "Tiger Crown" are most notable. The inclusion of "Big Truth" is the album's head scratcher, the one place where the overt pop melodiousness falls uncharacteristically flat; it just doesn't work.

Those now thinking that "A Discord Electric" somehow tarnishes the RAUNCHY legacy were focusing on what are for the most part peripheral issues. That the album does not pack the same all-enveloping wallop as prior works is of little concern when viewed in the larger context of the band's impressive career. Expecting RAUNCHY to raise the bar even higher with each album is probably unrealistic. Expecting RAUNCHY to deliver a work of quality songwriting and musical distinction is not. There may be a few packaging flaws, but "A Discord Electric" still delivers the goods.

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