OCTOBERLAND
MINDHAVEN
ALBUM DOWNSTAIRS RELEASE: SUMMER, 1999 REVIEW: OCTOBER 26, 1999


Ever wondered what happened to all the electro bands sounding like a crossover between Front 242 and Depeche Mode? Well, that sound is reincarnated by the Swedish duo Octoberland.
They were supposed to release this debut album through Zoth Ommog, but after several delays they got tired and released it themselves.
Iím not sure whether I like it or not, though. They donít have the cold, monotonous coolness of Front 242, nor do they master the majestic melancholia and song strength Depeche Mode possess. Well, in fairness that canít be demanded, but "Mindhaven" strikes me as being streamlined. The songs often start off promising, with traditional, yet interesting body grips like samples and stubborn bass lines. The voice of the singer is very good indeed, and also the music seen over the entire album.
Thatís why Iím surprised by the way I react and feel while hearing it. Nothing makes a lasting impression. It just keeps going, and I keep forgetting what the tracks sound like the second they fade out. I suppose itís because I was never a big fan of the eighties EBM, where the roughness was given more space and melody as well as refrains less ditto, except for Front 242, of course.
I donít doubt "Mindhaven" will appeal to a large range of fans, missing old times, but if you ask me, itís qualitative music without the much needed final touch of catchiness and melody strength. While others may view this as a pleasant retro trip, I tend to think it sounds a bit dated.

NIKLAS FORSBERG