|Reviews & Recommendations
|She Wants Revenge
Justin Warfield - vocals, guitars
Adam 12 - bass, keyboards
"With the '80s music revival showing no signs of abetting, along comes She Wants Revenge, a fast-rising Los Angeles duo with a name that's original but little else that is. Unlike so many other current bands that use the Reagan-Thatcher era as a reference or jumping-off point, this one simply channels it. While Warfield and bandmate Adam 12 might relish comparisons to Joy Division -- or, more precisely, Interpol-via-Psychedelic Furs-via Joy Division -- it's due less to musical merit than annexation of a once-groundbreaking sound."
-- Erik Pedersen, hollywoodreporter.com, 12/05
¾ 2006: She Wants Revenge
"Austere vocals. Electronic rhythms and moody bass. Seamless meshing of synths and sexual innuendo. Songs to lure the dark-minded to darkly-lit dance floors. Excuse me, haven't we met? Although distracting in its not-so-vague familiarity, the majority of this Los Angeles duo's debut revels in ominous, angular glory. The club-destined single, Out of Control, near-perfection of the addictively dour Sister, and Monologue, which creeps with night-stalker allure, dare you to keep still while overshadowing rare weaker moments. Justin Warfield's rigid vocals are indeed reminiscent (read: nearly dead-on) of that of Ian Curtis or Paul Banks, and the album's severe, sulky sound only fuels the rampant comparisons to their respective bands, among others. (...) To dismiss them as derivative scenester-bait is tempting, but unfair; yes, we've had run-ins with sound-alikes before, but it's a new hand to shake, and it does scratch an itch. Ultimately, She Wants Revenge has the tunes, confidence, and potential to be remembered as more than that band you listened to while Interpol was taking time off to record another album."
-- Kimberly Lapham, music.ign.com
¼ 2007: This is Forever
Tracklisting: 01.Love, First 02.Written in Blood 03.Walking Away 04.True Romance 05.What I Want 06.Just Begun 07.She Will Always Be A Broken Girl 08.This is the End 09.Checking Out 10.Pretend the World Has Ended 11.Replacement 12.All Those Moments 3.Rachael
Musicfolio picks: Written in Blood, Rachael, She Will Always Be A Broken Girl
"In early 2006, She Wants Revenge released a self-titled album that was as much an ode to Joy Division and Interpol as it was a soundtrack to a night of kinky, sweaty, painful sex. The bands latest release, 'This Is Forever', keeps the musical influences consistent, but the sex now isnt passionate and free; its painful because love has gotten in the way of the good old-fashioned slap that made She Wants Revenge so elating. So much of 'Forever' looks back to the earlier release that its impossible not to compare the two. Even the cover art is a cheap knock-off of the earlier. 'Revenge' shows a woman in white underclothes as she gently pulls her tank top down and hides something behind her back, a shining knife. 'Forever' finds the woman in black, with a veil and a single black rose replacing the knife. Though She Wants Revenge wasnt doing anything that hadnt been done before with 'Revenge', 'Forever' hasnt grown musically enough. The two instrumental tracks are fantastic, slow art pieces that exude emotion without coming off as cliché or trite. What made 'Revenge' great were the words and the beats. The lyrics werent poetic masterpieces, but 'give me the safe word and take my hand/slap me in the mouth, my love' forced a listener to pay attention. The lyrics dont have that impact anymore, and though the simple beats and synthesized riffs are danceable at the end of the night, when going home is imminent instead of taking her home for a marathon fuck fest that almost didnt make it off the dance floor, 'someones going home alone again tonight.'"
-- Patricia Sauthoff, sfreporter.com, 10/07
¼ 2008: Save Your Soul (EP)
Tracklisting: 01.Sugar 02.SaveYour Soul 03.Sleep 04.A Hundred Kisses
"First off, kudos to the guys for making the daring leap into the world of self-production. They managed to get out from under Geffen/Interscope and are now on their own label, Perfect Kiss (Which I really hope is a New Order reference). (...) 'This Is Forever', while a compelling album, felt somewhat constrained, which I suspect had to do with label control. This collection of four tracks isn't a huge departure and yet there is a difference. All of their ingredients are the same, but there is a loose feeling that wasn't present in past work. Sleep recalls some of the best work of the Psychedelic Furs and guitar-era New Order. A Hundred Kisses, with it's light acoustic guitar and chamber hall vocals lives somewhere between Love and Rockets and Echo and the Bunnymen. Sugar is classic Cure. The title track is a departure for the band, albeit a tiny one. Foregoing the usual heavy synths and over-produced stylings they normally impart, this one puts Adam's percussion front and center. The material is familiar stuff: a dark, brooding, danceable song about sex. But the end result is different. Whereas older SWR sounds like Depeche Mode sodomized Bauhaus, this sounds more like a love note to bands like the Mission UK, Sisters of Mercy, and Joy Division. It continues down the more guitar-oriented feel of tracks like Written in Blood they moved toward on their last album. I think the last step for the band is to let Justin expand his vocal range. While I love his Peter Murphy/Ian Curtis style, I think in the end, he doesn't need to stay with it so tightly. There are plenty of other good 80s post-punk frontmen out there to emulate and work in."
-- Connor, rubbergloveseduction.blogspot.com, 7/07
¾ 2011: Valleyheart
Tracklisting: 1) Take the World 2) Kiss Me 3) Up In Flames 4) Must Be the One 5) Not Just a Girl 6) Reasons 7) Little Stars 8) Suck It Up 9) Holiday Song 10) Maybe She's Right
"The first song on Valleyheart, Take The World, is what youd expect from SWR: brooding vocals, dark synths, and sparse riffs wrapped up in a package that slightly resembles some forgotten Depeche Mode B-side from 1991. But its all downhill from there. Valleyheart lacks the intensity and cohesiveness of their debut, and has none of the dance-ability or self-awareness of the rest of their catalog. The band said they wanted to strip away all their influences for this record and see who She Wants Revenge really was. Welp, turns out theyre a band in dire need of influences. Because when they keep them, you get serviceable songs like the grim stomper Up In Flames, Little Stars, or Suck It Up, which is right up there with any of the bands career highlights. But when you strip away their musical DNA, you get soft rock shlock with a bunch of whoooa-oooh-ooohs in the refrain (see: Kiss Me). And though the soft rock HIV bug only infected four of the ten tracks, they are so horrifically bad that it affects the rest of the songs. Because the key to prior SWR releases was the commitment to an ominous, black nail polish aesthetic. (...) As we learn this time around, when you break that tension with a bunch of stale rock-lite odes, you no longer have SWR. Not Just A Girl and Holiday Song sound like the worst kind of radio rock...Valleyhearts atrocious foray into rock-lite totally submarined this album. The six songs that sound like She Wants Revenge wouldve made for a passable EP, but they just werent enough to cancel out the rest of the dead weight that ultimately sunk this album."
-- atlasrocked.com, 6/11
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