Transponder Signal

Transponder Signal

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While it has a few moments, Transponder Signal's self-titled full-length never constructs much of an identity for the Baltimore duo beyond its immediate influences. Openers "Pillars of Snow" and "Calling" rock the glowering synth pop singer stylee over brittle electronic backgrounds. Is vocalist Bruce Culver wearing rayon and a layered cut? It's easy to imagine so. The signal shifts frequencies then, with the instrumental "Ogre" channeling the detached, skeletal melodies of Kraftwerk. These songs establish Transponder Signal's dualistic dynamic; later entries like the Joy Division-ish "Everafter" or "4eb" continue it. And that's it. While "Recreation Signal" and the aptly named "Baroque Too?" are able to hook into melodies that endure, the bulk of Transponder Signal's emissions can't escape what's been broadcast before.

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