The Electric Cinema - The Electric Cinema

Louise Evans 17/04/2007

Rating: 2/5

The Electric Cinema's self-titled debut album follows on the heels of two critically well received singles. The Watford quartet, comprised of siblings Dan and Rebecca Neale and their friends Martin Gear and Jamie Oram, opted to record and mix the album in the homes of various band and family members to keep the atmosphere personal and warm.

The band's aim appears to have been to fuse warm indie-pop with gentle yet melodic electronica, and on a few songs this works well. 'Monday Morning Radio' features strong drums and keyboards, and builds up incorporating both single and multiple layer vocals shot through with emotion. The album's best song 'Heat Exchange' builds up a multitude of electronic noises, swirling synth lines and male and female vocals culminating in a simple yet singalong chorus which is employed to its full extent to give a rousing final section of the song. Elsewhere The Electric Cinema take things down a notch and go for a gentler sound with fewer electronic noises. 'Forecast For Tomorrow' features softer guitars, drums and keyboards resulting in a more fragile downbeat atmosphere. 'So Hello/Goodbye' has a much sparse feel with a trembling synth track, rolling drums and lots of vocals.

Other tracks follow similar formulas yet fail to implement all the elements fully. Previous single 'Cut Down' employs the same combination of wailing electronics, keyboards, guitars and drums alongside layers of vocals which all build as the song goes on. However here the song never really breaks out, it feels as if the band are holding back when the song should be soaring. Likewise 'Your Manga Eye' builds up the layers of instruments and the intensity particularly for the chorus, however the energy of song seems a little low meaning it never really gets off the ground.

There are moments on this debut which indicate what The Electric Cinema are capable of, yet taken as a whole it feels like something is missing. Songs build and swell with increasing intensity but fail to capitalise on this so they never break out to soar to the heights they hint at. In general the emotions suggested in the songs don't quite ring true, there are traces of them present but they can't truly connect. This album just seems slightly lacking.