Onq's low-key way around bedroom indie continues with the brief Dasein Ohne Leben, with bandleader Luca Galuppini and three collaborators (including semi-regular drummer Mauro Costagli) at work this time through. If anything, Galuppini's music has become not merely more affecting with time but if anything a touch more crisply melancholic. In contrast with his soft, just wounded enough voice, it's a new step forward for the band, and sometimes they're on enough not to need singing at all. For instance, there's the definite hints of both New Order and the Cure in the opening "Una Brutta Storia Di Droga," not to mention the equally sorrowful but powerful air of the likes of Mogwai as the instrumental builds to a intense, apocalyptic conclusion and a final calm coda. It's one hell of a way to start a short-run release on a small label's even smaller side label and would be a pity if it never gets heard anywhere else. If the rest of the album follows a bit in that song's wake and can't quite escape its shadow, it's not for want of trying -- "The Valley" has a lost, just strangely desperate enough edge that compares to Hood's equally forlorn, partially acoustic "Hail Me Tonight." In a nice example of supporting the home side, there's one cover on the album -- "I Ruin Myself," originally written by contemporaneous Italian pop/punkers the Manges and here turned into one heck of an emotional anthem.
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AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett