The Essence

Out of Grace

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The lead track, taken from Nothing Lasts Forever, finds the Essence creating a becoming mix of melancholic synth and catchy, slightly brittle guitar hooks -- the latter of which sounds like something that, yes, Robert Smith would have done, as does the quite fine soloing at the end. Then there's Diener's singing, and once again, bring on all the Cure comparisons and don't let them stop. "In Your Heart" has a steady slow feel to it, with a slightly less derivative vocal from Diener for once, at least on the verses, while a live version of Ecstasy's "Ice," recorded at a Swiss date, comes across well enough. The out of nowhere ringer on this release is a cover -- and a Prince cover at that! "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" gets an energetic enough rip through it, but hearing Diener's usual Smith-like vocals given a "yeah! rock on!" treatment makes everything surreal, as does the feedback-raunch ending.