ALBUM EMI RELEASE: AUGUST 23, 1999 REVIEW: AUGUST 24, 1999
Every now and then bands emerge that lay more focus on their image and ideas
than on their music. Often, this is due to the musics lack of qualities.
This also applies to the Swedish band Venus Outback. In interviews, they
often talk about "The Movement", and how singer Pelle Ljungberg thinks that
he can relate to Marilyn Manson. This would be annoying enough even if they
had some good songs to back up all the crap with. But that is not the case here.
The cold and sterile production definitely doesn't help this, nor do the
cliched attempts to sound modern by using quite lame electronics manage to
disguise the fact that Venus Outback really is a fairly ordinary rock band.
Despite this, their debut album "Spiron Johd" doesn't entirely lack
qualities. There are some moments where the mood is reminiscent of Depeche
Mode's dark comeback album "Ultra", but this is often completely wiped out
by Pelle Ljunberg's exagerrated vocal delivery. I also enjoy the Ennio
Morricone-like guitar on the first single "Sodom Is Free", but that song is
also effectively ruined by the vocals, that reach a level of pompousness I
haven't heard since Ultravox' awful "Vienna".