Katsen: It Hertz

~ Monday, 14 September 2009
The duo of Chris Blackburn & Donna Grimaldi obviously have a love of 80's electronica and this album could easily have been released over 20 years ago. It is a mix mash of bands like OMD, Depeche Mode, Yazoo and Human League, which to many, will bring back some great memories and to others it will be a new sound. The 12 songs on here sound fresh despite the obvious retro feel to them, but while it is a undeniably catchy piece of kitch, there is one problem. Ms Grimaldi just can't sing. No amount of studio trickery can disguise the flat drone that makes up her singing voice. On Cactus we are exposed to the full range of her out of tune warbling. It is not a great song, but Grimaldi makes it all the more painful.

At times her vocal insecurities don't really matter and even suit the tweeness of the Bonitempi style keyboard sounds. Now you may be getting the impression I don't like this record, but I do. I was always a sucker for bands like Kraftwerk and Front 242 and this brings back nostalgic feelings long left behind. Certain tracks do stand out like Drax and, wait for it.... surprise.... on German Film Star Ms Grimaldi does actually sound great. The second half of the album definitely is a more self assured affair and more accessible than the patchy first half.

If you want a nostalgia trip then you could always dig out your 12" vinyl copy of Tour De France or just stick on It Hertz, look out your winkle pickers and waffle trousers and dance like it is 1984.

www.katsen.com

[][][][] (3.5/5)