Review: Victor Sierra, “Electric Rain”

Victor Sierra – Album Review

Arabesque, haunting, throaty and filled with European duende, Paris-based Victor Sierra’s album “Electric Rain” is perfect for Steampunks who want a less England-central experience. With lyrics in French, German, Yiddish, and English, Victor Sierra’s Anouk Adrien, Bob Eisenstein and Big Machine offer international flavor and haunting melodies mixed with a driving, relentless rhythm that pushes the listener along the train tracks of the album.

Victor Sierra provides an album that is the epitome of what the Steampunk aesthetic is all about – craftsmanship, cultural mixing, passion, raw feeling, cryptic theatricality, pride in your creation, and just a dash of cheeky social anarchy.

Bob Eisenstein, credited with playing all the instruments on the album, has a natural flair for making them scream a little bit. There’s something that he does with the compositions that is just uncomfortable enough that it makes the music intriguing, makes you want to writhe on a dance floor, but not so much that it becomes grating. Big Machine’s synth work is seamless, and evocative of the Hydrogen Queen, the band’s airbound berth. For someone who doesn’t really like ‘fake’ instruments in her music, I quite enjoyed everything about the production. That’s a mark of a true artist with a synth and the electronic arts of creating sound.

And what could easily become a slide into gratuitous and overly sensual vocals is instead punctuated by Anouk Adrien’s more raw, natural and not overly-trained, gripping vocal quality. I’m reminded, happily, of the folksy, desperate singing of Louis Attaque.

This driving, human sound is, to me, the equintessence of Steampunk music.

Even better, I love the cultural mélange of the lyrics. Some French, a dash of Yiddish, a swirl of German, references to Commonwealths and sheesha-smoking caterpillars (“Keep your head!”) – this is what Steampunk is.

Borderless, bold, and blended.

As a story-oriented person, my favourite track is by far #3, “Blood In The Skies”, a song about a tenuously obeying flight crew on a mission that they know nothing about. But the story of the album extends past the CD/MP3s – be certain to check out their myriad of videos, including the suitably cryptic “Self-Portraits” of the band members.

I look forward to seeing this band live – the music lends itself beautifully to belly dancers, pyrotechnics, burlesque, and over-the-top performativity and I salivate at the thought of what their stage show must be like.

And I freely admit that I’ve been listening to the full album on endless loop for the past two weeks, especially while I’ve been editing my next novel.

More info about Victor Sierra
Buy the album “Secret Page”
Buy the album “Electric Rain”
Victor Sierra’s touring schedule.
Want Victor Sierra to come to your city? Click here

JM FreyReview: Victor Sierra, “Electric Rain”


Join the conversation
  • B1G M4CH1N3 - December 5, 2011

    Hi ! I can’t find my words after reading yours… All I can say is thank you from the deepest bottom of my heart. It means tons for an artist to read words like you wrote here… To feel understood and appreciated… Thanks tons for those words who went straight to my heart. I’m sure the rest of the band is deeply touched too…
    And most of all, to be understood by someone talentive like you … It’s amazing to see all your work ! We have kindda same path thru life, I write, I’ve been journalist (music, books and plastic arts), I’m an actor and musicien… But with much less results than you get… Lol ! well… thanks again. Hope life will make our ways cross one day…
    I wish you the best for you and all yours !
    Take great care and hope you’ll have all the success that you deserve !

    Big Machine

  • JM Frey - December 5, 2011

    Mssr. Machine;

    You’re very welcome. I was very pleased that Victor Sierra reached out and invited me to review. It’s a great album and one of my happiest finds.

    If either of us manage to make it to the other side of the pond, we should definately be sure to snag an evening for a little wine, music, and chatter.

    And I wouldn’t say you have no results… I mean, I don’t have an album out! That’s a lot of work, sweat, and stress. It takes a lot of talent and ambition to form a band, write music, record, mix and produce a whole album. I applaud you, and the whole band.

    Best of luck with your own writing!


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