ALBUM REVIEW: Against Strong Thinking by SDH (Semiotics Department of Heteronyms)

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WRITTEN BY: Vince Barreras

The darkwave wave and synth duo SDH (Semiotics Department of Heteronyms) from Barcelona are back with a new release following their 2018 self-title release on Italian label Avant! Records. Heavy on dance and electronic tracks, the album falls into the dark wave genre nicely, with an EP that’s enjoyable from start to finish. Avant! Records describes these tracks as deeper and a sadder atmosphere than previously, and that couldn’t be a more accurate and nicely put description of this release. This record would be a perfect introduction to anyone looking to explore the genre because it’s light on the ears and beautiful. It captures a dark and industrial environment that will have anyone dancing from the beginning of the first track. This record is such a nice release so early on in 2020 for a multitude of reasons, but the most important being it creates an awareness for a band that will become a mainstay in underground music, and within the darkwave community.

The record begins with “Suffer” and the angelic vocals are introduced to the listener over top the danceable synth that is methodically structured to fit the mood of the EP. It’s a sad song that will also have you dancing in a dark room. “No Miracles” is the second track that begins with a buildup of ambient and dark noises followed by a sinister laugh which then drives into the opening lines. “There’s a miracle, about to happen but not for you” are chilling to hear as the instrumentation rocks the listener with pulsating temerity. “Your Next Story” is a fast-moving track that features electronic drums and a contagious backing track. 

“Four Arms” has more of a cold wave sound that is both poetic, beautiful, and also heartbreaking and “You Pt.12” is a nice piece of dark pop with the vocals really drawling the listener into this environment. It’s also important to note this track is a re-recorded take on the first single the group released back in 2016.  “Poem Against Strong Thinking” features strong high hats that blend together with an ambient track that eventually builds up into this magnificent arrangement that brings the listener to an emotional conclusion to the EP. 

SDH has once again put out a release that is hard to overlook. While this release may only feature six tracks, all six of these will be hard for fans to pick which ones get left off of their darkwave playlists. This record is that good. Give it a listen, and check out the band’s other releases.  

For fans of: Buzz Kull, Pleasure Symbols, Kontravoid

Track listing:

  1. Suffer
  2. No Miracles
  3. Your Next Story
  4. Four Arms 
  5. You Pt. 12
  6. Poem Against Strong Thinking

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