We Have Band | Ternion
Most likely to: darken up the dance floor.
Ternion, We Have Band’s second full-length, diverges from their 2010 debut WHB. While the trio retains the rhythmic bompity-bomp and layered vocals, their newest crop of songs are dosed with a density that was completely absent from their previous release.
We Have Band is a trio comprising former record-label employees Darren Bancroft and husband and wife Thomas and Dede Wegg-Prosser. The three friends share vocal duties, and clearly also possess a kick-ass 80s record collection.
We Have Band covered the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls” on their first EP, yet on Ternion they turn to the darker side of British electro-pop for inspiration. Unfortunately Ternion lacks the subtle playfulness that made WHB’s “Honeytrap” and “You Came Out” so entertaining.
Lead-off single “Where Are Your People” sounds like Black Celebration-era Depeche Mode. “Visionary” catches the ear with its ode to New Order’s “Temptation.” Playing “spot the influence” on Ternion grows tiresome, but it’s hard to avoid. When the mood does lift, it still maintains a dark edge reminiscent of Kele Okereke – fitting, since they have previously remixed Bloc Party.
We Have Band explores rhythm on Ternion. The bass line on “Tired of Running” thumps as plainly as a heartbeat. “Rivers of Blood” leads off with bald tribal toms. According to We Have Band’s Facebook page they are fans of fellow Brit’s These New Puritans. While TNP are absolute masters of dark, bottom heavy electro-pop, in the hands of We Have Band those same tricks feel more like a teen who tries on a Goth persona for the weekend.
Ternion’s tracks are nuggets of maudlin movement, honed in the studio until they gleam as if they were spit-shined with the band’s tears. Taken as a group the songs are overworked, overwrought, and leave me with the wish that We Have Band c’mon and get happy again.
Feast your eyes upon the video for “Where Are Your People?” from Ternion: