Battery Operated Orchestra – ‘Compulsory Games’

Get your Halloween underway with the delectably eerie synth-pop production within Compulsory Games, an album released today from Battery Operated Orchestra. The duo from Newhaven, UK compel with a dynamic pop sound, spanning from dark traversals to bright hook-fronted spectacles, amidst lyrics exploring topics like pressured conformity and intriguing nocturnal narratives.

“Walk with me in cities built on blood,” the vocals entice on the opening “Cut Off The Head,” with trickling bass, ghostly synths, and steady percussion combining for a haunting appeal; it’s a stellar, startlingly enjoyable opener to an album with ample stylistic and melodic appeal.

The ensuing title track meshes spacey synth work with lyrics exploring societal expectations, specifically how conformity can suppress creativity and empowerment. “Compulsory games, you have to play,” the vocals proclaim amidst a buzzing synth component, emitting a replay-inducing impact in the “grinding grey,” escalation.

Highlights dazzle consistently throughout. The pulsing synths and title-bearing chorus on “Killing Girl” conjures some particularly engrossing vibes fit for Halloween, while closing epic “All That Rises Must Converge” leads with lush synth pads in its atmospheric, ambient spell. Compulsory Games is a standout album from Battery Operated Orchestra.

“Always On” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of October 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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