The Dutch group the Essence are not the Cure in disguise, nor are there Cure members in their lineup; they just sound remarkably like them. The Essence's immediately obvious similarities with the Cure usually cause confusion whenever one of their songs is played on the radio or in a club. Frontman Hans Diener (voice, guitar, synthesizer, piano) is Robert Smith's vocal twin, and tracks like "The Cat" and "A Mirage" duplicate the Cure's layers of dark, swirly guitars with stunning accuracy. Diener formed the Essence in 1984 with Jeroen 'Jerry' Geertsma (bass) and Olaf Willemsen (drums). The band released its debut LP, Purity, a year later. In 1987, the single "A Mirage" became a Top Ten hit in Spain, and the group toured Europe. While the Essence didn't become as well-known as the Cure in America, albums such as A Monument of Trust and Ecstasy turned the band into cult favorites, especially among goth rock fans. Cherry Red Records compiled the Essence's most popular songs on Dancing in the Rain -- The Best of the Essence in 1994. In 1995, the Spanish outfit Esquema covered "A Mirage," and the track was a smash again in Spain. Generally viewed as an '80s group, the Essence continued to record in the '90s, releasing Nothing Lasts Forever in 1991 and Glow in 1995.
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