Mode Moderne first made an appearance in 2009, with their debut album ‘Ghosts Emerging’. Since then, the Vancouver based band has released three albums, with ‘Occult Delight’ being the fourth. Mode Moderne has already received plenty of critical acclaim, although they are not yet known in a vast, widespread sense.
The opening track ‘Strangle The Shadows’ sets the album in good stead, with the gothic eeriness of Mode Moderne apparent from the start. Mode Moderne seem to be the love child of indie pop and new wave, with Morrissey and Curtis taking the prime parental roles. ‘Grudges Crossed’ is another great track, essentially establishing an equilibrium between sorrow and joy. The lyric ‘Could it be that we are victims of your unconditional love?’ echoes throughout the song, fitting nicely in with the dreamily struck guitar chords. ‘Thieving Baby’s Breath’ opens in a characteristically Joy Division sort of way, which in my books is never a bad thing.
‘She, Untamed’ is the greatest track on the album. The hooks used throughout Occult Delight are best implemented on this track, with the riff falling in and out amidst Intile’s witty lyrics. ‘Time’s up’ opens with a shoe gazed intro, before delving into vocals that are incredibly reminiscent of The Smiths. Philip Intile’s deep and dark vocals act as the main focal point of Mode Moderne’s music, as you find yourself oddly transfixed by the morbid and angelic sweetness of his voice. The guitars role is oversimplified on Occult Delight, which helps draw attention to these melancholy vocals. ‘Baby Bunny’ is fundamentally a love song, tinted with the pessimistic aura of Mode Moderne’s style.
Many bands try to replicate a sound similar to The Smiths or Joy Division, and many fail. In fact, I’d go a pandemic of such bands exists. Mode Moderne fall far outside this bracket. Their lyrics are creative, and fitting with the sound they produce. Well establish and catchy riffs jangle throughout the song, creating a well rounded sound. The album is profoundly balanced, with each track having its place. All in all, a great album by a great band. 8/10
Watch ‘Unburden Yourself’