Awakened from their ancient slumber, Belgium’s 2nd Civilization have found their way out of the dark catacombs of obscurity into the music distribution channels of today’s music. With only two demos to their credit, “Eros and Civilization” (1989) and “Report” (1990) it is pretty easy to understand why most of us haven’t had the pleasure of being introduced to 2nd Civilization. It is hard to believe it took two decades to revive these recordings. Thanks to EK Product releasing ‘Report From The Dark’ we are able hear many tracks from the tapes reworked with an old school state of mind and a modern touch.
This is a solid album consisting of lyrical themes ranging from Greek Mythology, love and relationships. There are varying vocal styles depending on the song. You will not find Cookie Monster here.
The album kicks off with “Hurt” and “Lost Control”. Both tracks are very strong and you can hear the old school with the modern touch in “Hurt”. The band was nice enough to post the original version on their Facebook page. It’s a great link to see how the original version morphed into the reworked form. “Lost Control” is probably the strongest track on the album in my opinion. This one may have you tapping your feet and bobbing your head all over the house in excitement. About one minute or so in, we are introduced to a well-placed guitar part that really adds a dark feel to the song. Usually guitars scare me, but they seem to work well complimenting in the layering of the tracks throughout most of this release.
“Report from the Dark”, “I Wish You Could Be Mine”, “In Love for Life” and “Words” lyrically dive into the personal themes of love and relationships. The guitar emerges and imposes more of a presence throughout these tracks. “In Love for Life” brought me back to the 80’s with a dominating synthesizer overshadowed by a rock inspired guitar. “I Wish You Could Mine” could be considered the balled of the album. The lyrics address a love that could never be had. Again, the guitar compliments the layering of the song giving it that dark feel I mentioned earlier.
“D69”, I can envision during a live show the crowd swarming into frenzy of flying bodies and the edge of the stage packed with sweaty electroheads chanting the lyrics “D-SIXTY-NINER, YOU’RE A MULTIPLE DESIGNER” into the microphone.
“Agony and Terror” is the only track taken from the first tape that included covers by Front 242, DAF and Kraftwerk. It’s another strong track offered by ‘Report from the Dark’. The music reminds us of the punishing beats the 90’s were known for that had us flocking to the record stores regularly to get another fix.
My only criticism is the track “Wife”. It did not appear on the original tapes. I’m not sure if it is a new song. When you hear the lyrics, it seems a little low brow, but whatever. That’s just me being overly sensitive.
I sincerely hope to hear a lot more from 2nd Civilization in near future. They have been a top 10 seller with Poponaut. They have a great label in EKP. The disc is available just about everywhere. So hop on your train to madness and do what must be done! GET THIS!