April 2014 National Music Reviews

Review: Modern Rivals – Cemetery Dares

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Modern Rivals

Cemetery Dares

Self-Released

Street: 04.22

Modern Rivals = Yawn + Future Unlimited + The 1975

Cemetery Dares is the first album from the Brooklyn quintet Modern Rivals. The 10-track release was recorded over 12 days in a freezing recording studio (complete with bed bugs) and—despite those conditions—this is one of the happiest things I’ve ever heard. The warm, fuzzy electro pop is fun and relaxing, which also serves as its downfall because it’s almost ignorable. The album has no standout song to bring the others up with it, and it feels like a one-hit-wonder album without the hit. “The Ice,” “Moon Dust” and “A Shade Hesitating” do their best at sounding really good, but fall short of anything close to goose bumps. This album suffers from a market drenched in electro pop. Ten years ago this album would have been much more significant. Sadly, now it clanks like so many other things. However, I doubt we’ve heard the last of Modern Rivals, so hopefully this round was just getting the bed bugs out. –Benjamin Tilton
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