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Mode Moderne - Strange Bruises

  by Harry Sherriff

published: 11 / 10 / 2012

Mode Moderne - Strange Bruises
Label: Light Organ Records
Format: CD


Fabulous dark retro rock on seven-song debut UK release and mini album, Mode Moderne

Canada’s Mode Moderne are a band that demand a listen. 'Strange Bruises' is their first UK release, and already the band are getting compared to the likes of Echo & The Bunnymen and the Horrors. I am amazed they’re a band from across the pond. They remind me of all good things Manchester. There are echoes of Joy Division, Marr-style jangly riffs and vocally, as well as Ian Curtis, every now and then you hear the faint croons of Morrisey. 'Nightly Youths' is the type of opening track that gives you that “I’d love to see this live” feeling. The guitar work here reminds me of the poppier side of the Cure, the riff here could be straight off 'Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me' and, although the six other tracks have a certain mope-rock swagger, 'Youths' seems like a great choice of a song to get you acquainted with the band. 'Strange Bruises' overall has a subtle confidence to it like an attractive woman at a bar who could care less. It’s catchy but it doesn’t feel the need to hit you over the head with it. 'Foul Weather Fare' is more upbeat and features keys with an 80’s feel. I love a band that sound from another time, and Mode Moderne are just that. Dark retro rock that slowly pulls you in. 'Foul Weather' leaves you wanting more from the female providing backing vocals; a much-wanted duet however doesn’t feature. 'Strange Bruises' has its influences written all over it, even in the lyrics: “Little girls should be seen and not heard” we are reminded of the poetic playfulness of the Smiths frontman. 'Electrocute Me' at its worst is a formulaic Joy Division rip-off, but with the catchiest chorus on the album it certainly has its own depth. By the time closer 'The Open Air' kicks in you’re sad it’s coming to an end. The synth work here reminds me of the melancholic score to the film 'Lost in Translation'. 'Lofkrantz' has that envious skill of blending catchy verse into catchier chorus like it was meant to be. It just happened. Effortlessly. There isn’t a weak track out of the seven. I have listened to Bruises in its entirety five times now, and there will be another five because it’s one of those joyful experiences that gets better with every listen. I just hope Mode Moderne get out there and play to a lot of people this year. With similar sounding band 'Savages', who I had the unfortunate experience of seeing earlier this year continuing their undeserved hype-fuelled meteor rise onto the front cover of 'NME', it would be a shame to see Mode Moderne go relatively unheard.

Track Listing:-
1 Nightly Youths
2 Foul Weather Fare
3 Strange Bruises
4 Guns
5 Private Library
6 Electrocute Me
7 The Open Air

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