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Boomkat Product Review:
If you'd told us two years ago that the goth bug was heading for the mainstream then we'd probably have laughed in your face, but in 2011 that's exactly what's afoot - with the likes of Cold Cave and Zola Jesus enjoying something close to popstar status. Hoping to join this hallowed company and usher in a new dawn of netted gloves, mascara and mild depression are Toronto trio Austra, now signed to Domino. Their sound is a little lighter than the imagery they cloak it in might suggest: the going rate on this, their frighteningly accomplished debut album, is a strident twilight synth-pop strongly reminiscent of The Knife, Fever Ray and even pre-fame Feist. The most beguiling songs for our money are those which are darkest and most rhythmically robust: chugging, EBM-flavoured lead single 'Beat And The Pulse', and the proper 80s style chart-stomper-in-waiting 'The Villain' (you can almost picture the one-finger Korg solos on Top Of The Pops); meanwhile 'The Choke' and 'The Beast' suggest the Bill Nelson-produced, 4AD-signed album that Kate Bush never cut. More than anything, Feel It Break is a throwback to a time when gothic exuberance and solid pop appeal weren't mutually exclusive qualities.