Published Jun 04, 2020Amnesia Scanner's 2018 debut album, Another Life, stood out as a prime example in the emerging trend of industrial-influenced dance music. This was a tough job with peers like SOPHIE and Arca as competition, but the Berlin-based duo's pounding electro-industrial sound managed to carve out a place among the genre's giants.
On Tearless, Amnesia Scanner attempt to switch up their style by lessening their beat-driven focus and incorporating a new range of Latin electronic and art-pop influences — but this leaves the majority of the songs feeling like they're missing something. In some places, like the Code Orange-featuring "AS Flat" and "AS Too Late," this even leaves tracks feeling incomplete.
The glitchy, abstract and abrasive production throughout the album is constantly interesting and admirable, though. It adds an uncanny quality to tracks like "AS Tearless," as heavily-processed vocals clash with a sea of harsh synthesizer tones, but the fully developed ideas on the record are few and far between. It leaves most of the album feeling less like cohesive tracks, and more like experimental club-bangers that need more time before being exported and put on record.
There is an intriguing attempt at style-changing on Tearless, but Amnesia Scanner don't stick the landing. Couple the simultaneously sparse and noisy production with the overall scant running time, and the album unfortunately fails to leave an impression, especially in an area of music that has become more and more saturated since the band's 2018 breakthrough. (Pan)