This Belgian formation was active during the late 80s and has reactivated 2 years ago with the album “Report From The Dark”. It’s not exactly an album that caught my attention so I didn’t have that many expectations about their new work.
2ND Civilization however improved the global production while holding on to their main influences. This work is driven by multiple alluring EBM bass lines and a particular care for cool vintage electronic sounds. The opener “Let’s Play” is a great and astonishing debut cut mixing EBM and a mysterious Eastern melody line. The vocals are rather clear, but powerful, which is present over the entire album. The next few pieces hold on to some EBM elements while more refined pop arrangements make the composition catchy sounding.
“John Carpenter” is an interesting cut for the kind of ode the band brings to this legendary film director. The song is a wink to good-old horror movies and the typical atmospheres characterizing the work of Carpenter.
The old-school format of this album is quite characteristic. “Let’s Play” features several songs in the genre and I like to tip the cool body-pop sounding “Games” and “The Virus”. Even if this songs clearly refer to the 80s there also is a refreshing touch over the global production. That’s for sure the main difference with the previous work. The best song however comes at the end. “Heartbeat” is a well-crafted and irresistible cut featuring impressive sound treatments and empowering guitar-like electronics.
Conclusion: “Let’s Play” reveals the real potential of 2ND Civilization. The mix of electro-pop, EBM and great vintage arrangements is absolutely well-crafted.