The Phantom Tollbooth

Gesture of Despair
Artist: A2d
Label: mrxl Records
Length: 9 Tracks/58:21 minutes

This album is a smorgasbord of techno, industrial, mellow electro, and just plain cheesy music. This isn't an album for the mainstream music fan, nor is it for the person who doesn't like strange styles of music.

A2D is Steve Marseille, and he's extremely talented in the area of music. In fact, the strongest point on the album is the actual musical tracks. Unfortunately, Marseille's voice is at times a little too flat, and it only sounds great when distortion is used on his microphone.

The title track, "Gesture of Despair," is by far the best song on the album. It's a trance-style song that will fit in at any rave. I like the way it builds, and I like that it can make you feel like you're on a journey to the outermost part of the galaxy.

Some of Marseille's instrumental tracks are similar to Fifties music; like industrial swing. I think he's an Elvis of Industrial. Track 9 is a hidden track. You must fast forward for about 3 minutes, but I don't recommend it--it sounds like the end of Street Fighter.

The songs on which Marseille sings are hit and miss. But some of these are so strong and the beat and music are so good you forget his voice. Others…you remember his voice.

All in all, I like the album. It's like setting out to save the world in your rocket ship, with Elvis as your pilot. But I don't recommend it to picky listeners, only to people who like "JOY ELECTRIC meets Filter" I'll buy Gesture of Despair just so I can hear the title track. That song makes the album.

Justin Jones (4/12/99)