Album review: Exit Guides - Promenade Cinema


Elektro Vox reviews the recently released second album by the self styled cinema-dramatic synthpop band, Promenade Cinema. Emma and Dorian of Promenade Cinema would have been playing Resistanz 2020 soon had it not been for the Covid-19 Crisis. So for your viewing pleasure, here is a quick review of 'Exit Guides'.

1. The arch house


The first single for the album released last year was well met with its deep and atmospheric feel complimenting the previous album. The strings played throughout are a real preview to the dramatic cinema-scape that the band attests to with their music.

Mainly accompanied by drums and little synths in this track, there is a bit of reverb when listened to with headphones. Emma's voice however more than makes up for this small flaw and presents a well rounded opening track for this release.

2. Cold fashion


A more upbeat track that breathes energy in to the listener with it's sense of urgency to tell the story behind the lyrics. This was the second single released before the album was launched. The layers of synths, drums, and vocals are well mixed that brings a crisp and unique feel to this song.


3. Nothing Nouveau


Now here is a very clever song that has really impressed me. At just over 7 minutes long, it almost sounds like three tracks in one.

At the 2 minute mark my jaw slipped open a fair way at the beautiful honey being poured in to my ears!

The wonderful thing about Promenade Cinema is that their music very well could be synthwave by itself if the drums were heavier and the singing was cut back, and yet they create their own style with their pop mix and dramatic tension. This truly is a wonderfully done piece with lyrics further adding to their cinematic theme which becomes rather relatable the longer you listen to them. This song touches a level of satisfaction that you wernt quite sure you even had.

4. Passions in the back room


A somewhat different offering to the previous three tracks with Dorian's vocals warming the audience up for some powerful pipes from Emma. There is a lot going on in this one and can seem a bit overwhelming in some places with its experimental mixing of styles.

5. Memoirs in glass


Straight away I was grabbed by the gripping power of the piano keys and the much slower and touching emotional content they play out alongside the serene vocals. I truly wasn't expecting such a sorrowful piece from P.C and it hit me right in the chest. This is reminiscent of Evanescence in some aspects, and even Madonna in others. Strangely I felt uplifted by the end of the melody. Impressive, very impressive.


6. She's an art


A nice upbeat piece to bring you out of the trance of the previous track. This is a real foot stomper and dare I say it, dancefloor filling classic should enough people here it. This would go down wonderfully in a darkwave set or indeed any gothic based set. The rhythm is multi functioning with it's deep drum synthwave base and yet the gothic atmosphere and lyrical power. It's another song from P.C that reminds me of Human League or Eurythmics.

Part of the song is a spoken auction that although tells a story, sadly brings down the tempo somewhat and is very distracting. However it works overall to get the message across and rounds the experience off.

7. After the party, it's over


Another powerful, slower, and emotive offering that brings back the melodic strings in a rather romantic and reminiscent fashion. There is a lot of talent that comes through in not only terms of vocals but in the layers of music. After all, if you can't do something slow where you can't hide mistakes, you can't do it at all really. It is a beautiful penultimate song for the album and a piece they should be proud of.


8. Fading in the arcade


This feels darker, in an almost 'Stranger things' vibe and seems to incorporate the rest of the album in to one. This track even has the sense of a musical about it. I can picture it being sung on stage by a dramatic cast reminiscing about other characters. It is a wonderful and uplifting piece even though the lyrics are rather sad in terms of those who are no longer with us.


Conclusion


Promenade Cinema have done a great job in following up the success of their first album with this latest release. There are several very different offerings that will appeal to most alternative audiences. Although some parts suffer with reverb and others with a bit of a messy amount of layers, overall the album is a wonderfully enjoyable piece to sit down and listen to. I hope it is as well received as their previous album.


Top 3 tracks:

'Nothing nouveau'

'Memoirs in glass'

'Fading in the arcade'

Least favourite track:

'Passions in the back room'

Scores:

Technicality: 7 Dance factor: 6 Energy: 5 singing: 9 Re-playability: 7 Overall score: 6.8/10


Check out our interview with P.C at Beat:Cancer fest last year:

Below is the Promenade Cinema's listing on our new Alternative Directory where you can list yourself with us to reach the alternative market with your band, E-store, events, festival, merchandise etc! Want to be on our new directory that aims to be the most thorough and cheap directory around? It’s free if you join up during the lockdown. Get in touch. Click the listing below to be taken there.

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