X‑Marks The Pedwalk – Transformation

A musical or emotional metamorphosis?

X-Marks The Pedwalk - Transformation

Album facts

Release Date: September 16th, 2020
Label: Meshwork Music
Genre: ,
Discogs: Link
Partially sounds like: Mesh, De/Vision, VNV Nation, Project Pitchfork, New Order

The cov­er and the name of the album reminded me of Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'. So I'm curi­ous what 'Transformation' from 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' is all about. Let's go togeth­er on a search for clues about the con­tent of the cur­rent album.

An album with Kafka concept?

'If I Stay' is a very atmo­spher­ic intro with slow lyr­ics that are recited like a poem. The ten­sion builds up slowly but per­man­ently. In lyr­ic lines like "too many words unheard" or "when I fall asleep will I find what I need" I already dis­cov­er the first hints of Kafka's 'The Metamorphosis'. As a song, the track is mediocre, but as an intro for a concept it is brilliant.

The first thing I loved about 'Walk Away' was the rich and crisp beat. It hooked me right away, espe­cially because the song is not tech­nic­ally over­loaded. You are able to loc­ate every single instru­ment and you're right in time and mood with the song's beat. Lyrically the song deals with a well-known top­ic about self-doubt in a rela­tion­ship, wheth­er jus­ti­fied or unjus­ti­fied is left open.

The song 'Transformind' has to accept a few com­par­is­ons. The basic beat def­in­itely car­ries DNA traces of the typ­ic­al 'VNV Nation' sound. That lifts my mood enorm­ously. Definitely the first verse is a clear hint, that 'The Metamorphosis' by Kafka, was the men­tal god­fath­er in the pro­duc­tion of this album. Consciously or uncon­sciously how­ever remains open.

Moving forth and back
there's no direction […]
Up and down
out of bal­ance, and I'm falling
Lyrics from 'Transformind' by X‑Marks The Pedwalk

'Talking' is a fant­ast­ic Synth Pop song without squiggles or hard edges. This means that the song is catchy right from the start and you feel com­fort­able with the sound as a Synth Pop fan. Simple and above all very easy to dance to, such a track is a must-have on every good album of this genre. Thumbs up!

The perfect DNA mix for transformation

X-Marks The Pedwalk - Promo photo 2020
X‑Marks The Pedwalk – Promo photo 2020

A rel­at­ively fast beat, which reminds me of 'Project Pitchfork', her­alds the track 'Voodoo Love'. The synths sound really bold and rich and charge the album with a lot of energy. As the vocals start, I'm sud­denly caught up in a soft ver­sion of a well-known New Order song. Wow, what a wicked, fant­ast­ic mix that 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' cre­ated here. When the text line 'The sun and rain­fall' in the chor­us reminds me of 'Depeche Mode', I am in love with this song. But with all the com­par­is­ons the song is very inde­pend­ent and doesn't need to hide behind any­thing. I think 'Voodoo Love' is the strongest song on the album and I hope for a Single includ­ing a music video.

A short para­graph for the two songs 'Waiting' and 'Sunrise'. Both are without doubt above aver­age songs. But some­how they don't really come out of the start­ing blocks. I can't even pin that on any­thing spe­cif­ic. Perhaps the dynam­ics are too flat when you com­pare them with the oth­er songs. Or maybe it's the feel­ing that there are some ele­ments miss­ing that make the tracks sound a bit more excit­ing. Positive to men­tion is the break in 'Sunrise' which is really clev­er and well integrated.

'Let Me Go' again rather hits the music­al notch that I like very much. Crisp and with a lot of punch from the speak­ers! And here's the recom­mend­a­tion to all DJs: This track is per­fect for the dance floor. The melod­ies stand out beau­ti­fully against the bass line and the beat, seem play­ful and won­der­fully har­mo­ni­ous. After 'Voodoo Love' this is my second favour­ite song on the album 'Transformation'.

In sweet dreams
I no longer run
I stand still and look back
until I wake up
Lyrics from 'Let Me Go' by X‑Marks The Pedwalk

Tension until the end

In 'Together Alone' it is lyr­ic­ally about an intim­ate rela­tion­ship that is under­stood without words, at least that's how I inter­pret it. You think it is about some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent, then please write it in the com­ments below. In terms of sound, 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' does not suf­fer from any qual­ity flaws here either. Good tempo, crisp beat and heav­enly well sung vocals make this song more than suit­able for radio play. At this point it should be praised that the album has not one single gap-filler. Perfect!

The album ends with the song 'Shadows', which sounds in a typ­ic­al dark atmo­sphere of an 80s Martin Gore bal­lad. Slowly, threat­en­ingly and finely spiked with weird sound­ing samples that pierce my head like little needles. The mel­an­choly lyr­ics are per­formed here as a duet, which brings anoth­er nice vari­ety to the album. Modern bal­lads should sound just as vibrant and pro­found as 'Shadows' does.

Has the metamorphosis succeeded?

What began for me as a Kafka concept album did not last until the end. Perhaps I simply inter­preted too much purely. Nevertheless, 'Transformation' from 'X‑Marks The Pedwalk' is once again a fant­ast­ic album that is tech­nic­ally on par with its pre­de­cessor 'Secrets'. Hats off to this abso­lutely recom­mend­able Synth Pop album.

Track By Track Rating

X-Marks The Pedwalk - Transformation
X‑Marks The Pedwalk – Transformation
If I Stay
Walk Away
Voodoo Love
Let Me Go
Together Alone
Walk Away
Voodoo Love
Let Me Go
(Nothing to report here)