Too Dead To Die – Tropical Gothic

Something between Tropical EBM and Gothic EDM

Too Dead To Die - Tropical Gothic

Album facts

Release Date: February 28th 2020
Label: Out Of Line
Genre: , , ,
Discogs: Link
Partially sounds like: Faderhead, Yellow Lazarus, The Prodigy, Northern Lite

How does California weath­er, ice cream, palm trees and Gothic go togeth­er? This ques­tion was prob­ably also asked by 'Too Dead To Die' and his new album is accord­ingly called 'Tropical Gothic'. Almost 6 years have passed since 'Murder On The Dance Floor' and to be hon­est I didn't believe in a release any­more. Without much announce­ment or promo I was sur­prised by the unex­pec­ted release. In any case I was very happy. Now the new sound of 'Too Dead To Die' blasts around our ears like a trop­ic­al storm. Hot beats and a genre mix like a deli­cious cock­tail awaits the listen­er. We have already listened to it and tell you what the awe­some party tracks are and which songs are more likely to cause headaches.

Right in the face

The title song 'Tropical Gothic' starts with a relaxed synth car­pet and slowly breaks up with a wooden drum kit. Also the singing starts almost thera­peut­ic­ally calm in the voice but fast in the text flow. Relaxed hand­clap­ping samples lead slowly to the main part and are inter­rup­ted at the half by squeak­ing sig­nal sounds and the beat picks up the tempo clearly. The first track clearly shows the music­al genre mix the listen­er has to adjust to. Electronically excit­ing Synthiepop/EBM sounds with a touch of trop­ic­al hol­i­day feel­ing with extremely dark lyr­ics. Voilá, here it is!

My own world in shad­ow of palm trees
Lyrics from 'Tropical Gothic' by Too Dead To Die

The second song 'They All Were Wrong' starts much more stomp­ing with melody struc­tures that remind of the debut 'Murder On The Dancefloor'. A very short, fast song with dis­tor­ted voices and growl­ing chor­us. Extremely uncom­prom­ising and full on the face that says: 'Too Dead To Die' is back!

I thought the mix of lounge music and Synthiepop on Northern Lite's 'Back To The Roots' album was fant­ast­ic. 'Too Dead To Die' cre­ates a sim­il­arly enjoy­able mix, but on the album it is much more var­ied and excit­ing. The third song 'Wanderlust' proves this. For good reas­on this track was also chosen as a singing release. Loose and fluffy beats invite you to dance, but there is still a touch of mel­an­choly and dark­ness around this track.

Sunbathing in sadness

With the first tunes of 'The Best Sunsets I've Ever Seen' you can guess or expect a sad story in the lyr­ics. In the end the inter­pret­a­tion remains open, but the song leaves me with a bit­ter­sweet taste of sadness.

'Ultraviolet' begins as uncom­fort­able as 'The Best Sunsets I've Ever Seen'. These melod­ies make me shiver and yet I find them beau­ti­ful or maybe just because of that. Tonally the num­ber is already much calmer and also slower. The chor­us has almost some­thing of 80s New Romantic and would also fit per­fectly into a catchy Synth Pop song.

They say our time has ran out, noth­ing left to feel good about
Lyrics from 'Ultraviolet' by Too Dead To Die

Sonically remin­is­cent of 'Faderhead', the song 'Vice City' thun­ders from the loud­speak­ers. Extremely juicy beats and expli­cit phrases are blast­ing around the head. The track is really rough and stuffed with thou­sands of lay­ers of synths and samples. Very com­plex, but some­how it fits togeth­er well.

Another super weird dance gren­ade is the song 'You Cannot Destroy Me More'. The lyr­ic­al con­tent can be inter­preted rather iron­ic­ally with lines like: "drink so much you could die". But a party atmo­sphere is def­in­itely com­ing up with this track. From the unique­ness of the used synths and the insane com­pos­i­tion of the sound, it could be under­stood as a trib­ute to 'The Prodigy'. Well done!

Till the end a mind-blowing trip

Another single release is the track 'Deviled Grilled'. The song cap­tiv­ated me, to be hon­est, not from the begin­ning. The song struc­ture is not catchy enough for that, I would say almost unwieldy. If you get involved with new sounds and the knot is sud­denly burst, the song whirls around like a trop­ic­al storm and tears off all the roofs.

The song 'XXV' is almost full of romance and turns the wheel com­pletely around and you only think: "Wow, I really didn't expect that!". This is one of my abso­lute favour­ite songs on the album. First of all because 'Too Dead To Die' proves its wide range of sounds, but also because the song with the mel­an­chol­ic­ally tuned strings just gets under your skin. There is so much feel­ing and com­plex­ity in this song. On one side it sounds like a tra­gic romance, on the oth­er side it sounds like a super cheesy love declar­a­tion. A fant­ast­ic song!

Never regret about faith in the eyes, where I forever found my last paradise
Lyrics from 'XXV' by Too Dead To Die

Also the last track 'Season Of Rains' is a sen­ti­ment­al song with pro­found lyr­ics and a very slow beat. Somehow strange to me, that apart from the lyr­ics, the music sounds like an dooms­day scen­ario. It exudes such a sad hope­less­ness that makes you feel sad. But when a song cre­ates such strong emo­tions, then the artist has done everything per­fectly right and I can con­firm that with this song.

A tropical storm or a mild breeze?

I have to admit that you have to be very open-minded to love this album. It's not the usu­al, catchy EBM/Synthiepop/Industrial type of music, but it has this spe­cial touch to be very unique in the black music scene.

Personally, I love the album and can only warmly recom­mend it to every­one. If you buy the Bandcamp ver­sion you will get 2 bonus tracks ('Down The Palm Road To Hell' and 'Hoodoo') on top.

By the way, this album also made it into our art­icle 'The best Synth Pop and genre-related albums 2020'. Read now.

Track By Track Rating

Too Dead To Die - Tropical Gothic
Too Dead To Die – Tropical Gothic
Tropical Gothic
They All Were Wrong
The Best Sunsets I've Ever Seen
Porcelain Mary
Vice City
You Cannot Destroy Me More
Deviled Grilled
Season of Rains
Tropical Gothic
(Nothing to report here)

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