“Never Neverland”
(Dr. Music Records)

Pronounced “Copyist” – as in, one who makes duplicates. Fitting. The patchwork of goth-inspired, Rammstein-lite, euro-tech will fall upon ears with a familiar sound. It’s moody, dark, heavy on the electronics but leaning into a pop song formula. The tracks ebb and flow like a pool of coagulating blood, tipping with the waves, as it all sinks beneath its own weight. A three piece masterminded by Marquee Steven_XL (guitar, programming, vocals) and backed by Butch Bloodwood (vocals) and Dogda Beat (drums, programming), this German unit sounds very… German. It’s that deep, rich baritone vocal line, draping words across guitars, obscuring the light, just to entertain the dark. What will appeal to the more mainstream crowd, and probably be miss to the more ‘industrialized’ crowd, is how CPYist rarely gets aggressive. Ominous, maybe… but tempos are often a pop-laced shuffle… like the first single, “One Way Ticket”

“Slave 24_7” has some interesting construction to the song, placing it somewhere between a mid-tempo Nine Inch Nails and a slow-tempo Rammstein. The band is willing to take an unexpected turn as evidenced by the bubble pop of the title track, “Never Neverland”, sounding like a New Order b-side straight from the 80s. It’s obvious Marquee has wide range of influences, and he tries to shove as many as possible into this album. The closer displays this most clearly with, “Wake Up People” that possesses a rapid fire vocal attack and shoves the tempo up a few notches making CPYist sound a little more challenging and unique.

While CPYist don’t try to hide their influences, they are at their best when they start to transcend them, which doesn’t happen often on, “Never Neverland”. Mostly, the album delivers some interesting takes on a lot of European electronic, goth, and pop influences. Trim the funeral march slow death tempos out (“My Thoughts To Be” – yeesh, that one’s a miss fellas), pull back on the bubbly stuff, and what remains is some worthy dark-wave-ish, goth-type, German electro-pop infused, tastiness.