The first thing you might notice about SWR's new album is maybe the most telling aspect overall: The silly chick-in-her-underwear cover art mimics their successful debut effort's cover art precisely, the only alteration being the color scheme changing from white to black. What this implies, one might suppose, is that this is the same album you bought before, but this time, it's even more evil and black of heart. (Cue the spooky music here!)
Nice try, guys, but you can fool some "oh-my-goths" sometimes, but you can't fool all the people all the time. To its credit, This Is Forever features strong production, rich sonic textures, and the droning, subterranean vocals that define the genre. However, there is nothing here remotely original, and the California duo (Justin Warfield and "Adam 12" Bravin) actually come off sounding more like a slightly more caffeinated Interpol than they do their heroes Depeche Mode, The Cure, and Joy Division.
That said, this collection of dirges is a fair addition to the iPods of those who crave this type of music. If the FDA can approve the sale of cloned meat (which it just did), why can't a derivative, neo-goth band sell a few records? If your Saturday night plans consist of a trip to the local darkwave dance club or perhaps just cutting yourself and screaming into your pillow, consider This Is Forever a satisfactory soundtrack for any of the above. Everyone else, stick with the classics.
1. First, Love
2. Written in Blood
3. Walking Away
4. True Romance
5. What I Want
6. It's Just Begun
7. She Will Always Be a Broken Girl
8. This Is the End
9. Checking Out
10. Pretend the World Has Ended
12. All Those Moments