Violens are really, one of those bands that aren't exactly the most genre specific. I suppose, we could loosely call them gothic, maybe even a little (I say this with dread)… Indie? Though really isn't indie just the most sickening umbrella term as a music fan? Someone tells you to listen to their favourite band, attempting to persuade you by using the term 'indie' and it's never convincing. Is this the same with Violens? Perhaps Violens have cleverly formulated a sin-hider genre, one that makes anything acceptable, or expectable. For me, Violens aren't the easiest band to like. It's not that they're bad; they're certainly not, but it seems that calling yourself a Violens fan is the same as being one of those people that answers the question of 'What music do you like?' with the vague and nondescript "Oh, you know… a bit of everything." Is anyone a really huge fan of Violens? Are there people out there who own 5+ items of Violens merch and attend every show? I'd be surprised…
I may seem a little harsh in my approach to this album and I mustn't be mistaken, True is very much an enjoyable album, and as the Brooklyn boys' first true (if that pun was intended I couldn't allow myself to write again) full-band writing effort, it's a pretty good attempt. Maybe Violens should have been writing like this all along, True has much more charm and dreaminess about it, daydreamers taken away by musical sentimentality and dreaminess may even call it excellent with the album's upbeat and slight pop-hints that feature on a few tracks. It's more together than its predecessor Amoral, which, perhaps you would expect from a full-band input, yet it still defies classification in true Violens style.
But what can we really expect from a band who have been compared to Ride and Echo and The Bunnymen, there's no set direction that we could ever expect from Violens and with True, they're serial genre-mashers. Opening track 'Totally True' is a clever Cure-style take on what sounds like Joy Division's 'Transmission', while 'When Let Go' appears to take a more Girls-esque dream-pop approach. It's an album that shows what Violens are capable of… and in a way, that's far too many things. They retain their positive-weirdness of the last album, but credit to the band, they've somehow reinvented it which cleverly could be a way of growing their fanbase.
There may be a lack of distinct identity about Violens as a band, but what's to say that isn't a good thing? There's a level of intrigue about what they will do, and although that might not be the best thing in ensuring success, True does offer up some brilliant tracks.