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Album Review: Oberhofer – Chronovision

2 min read

Times have certainly changed since Brooklyn band Oberhofer released their debut album in 2012. The critically acclaimed Time Capsules 11 helped them gain international recognition and catapulted them right to the front of the New Wave/Surf Rock Revival pack, a genre that at the time was gaining world wide momentum and also helped steer Sleigh Bells and Neon Indian onto the airwaves. Yet, time had also changed the band itself, and due to multiple line-up modifications. Oberhofer were forced into hiatus and during their absence, the much-loved genre had disappeared just as quickly as it surfaced and although some bands have managed to stay afloat (Best Coast, The Drums) many have faded into oblivion taking the genre with them.

Chronovision albumCome 2015, Oberhofer are ready to enter the scene again, this time with sophomore effort Chronovision, and although it’s dark, loud and catchy like its predecessor, it fails to reignite the same love for the New Wave genre and sounds more like something that would have been amazing three years ago.

Although Chronovision starts off strong with the stirring oddness of Nevena, the infectious first single Memory Remains and the stomping glam rock of Someone Take Me Home (which has all the right elements to be a big hit) it suddenly plateaus and the rest is left to fizzle out slowly and is instantly forgettable.

However, there is a glimpse of redemption: Ballroom Floor, a dark mid-tempo ballad could be the albums highlight but also serves as a disappointing reminder of what could have been if the band had decided to take a new direction.

Given their prolonged hiatus and the alleged cut-throat decision that saw front-man and founder Brad Oberhofer choose 12 tracks from a whopping 106 demos, I wanted something major, something different, something to let their fans rejoice in their comeback and not completely regret it.