To listen to Swedish duo* Hearts of Black Science *is to be transported to the dark corners of the ‘80s, their songs of faith and devotion paying tribute to the likes of Depeche Mode, The Associates and Echo & The Bunnymen. Nonetheless, whilst treading where countless others have trod before, these devils do so with a certain panache and no little technique.
Fuelled by pulsing electronica and insistent, ominous guitar, ‘Driverlights’ builds ceaselessly – what initially sounds like a promise suddenly becomes a threat. The vocal is exquisitely mournful, the playing cold and clinical. The net effect is splendidly troubling, and _‘Driverlights’ is the sort of song that, with every listen, sinks its fangs ever deeper into your consciousness.
Drawing from the same sepulchral gene pool as the lead track, ‘Cold Comfort’ creates an ambience of luxuriant menace. It is foreboding fare, the sense that something sinister this way comes reaffirmed by Daniel Änghede’s haunting vocal and apocalyptic proclamations: “The sky is falling down on you tonight”. A rather dry remix (by Volts), ‘Dangerlights’, rounds out proceedings. A patchwork of insistent beats and an ethereal vocal, it offers little to get excited about.
With their songwriting guile and slavish attention to detail, Hearts of Black Science cut a commendably dark dash against the musical horizon. And, if they could only rein in their regressive tendencies and find their own path, they might just become a band to cherish.
7Francis Jones's Score