San Francisco band no:carrier have coined their own term to describe their unique sound. They call it electro noir. In the words of lead songwriter and producer Chris Wirsig, “We have our very own sound that includes elements from several styles – from Dark Wave to Synthpop, from Acoustic to Electro.” It is the fusion of these sounds that created their fourth full album Broken Rainbow released earlier in November.
Each song on the album tackles a different issue for the band ranging from depression, addiction and even the depths of human behavior. Wirsig describes the process of no:carrier as “writing and recording the songs that they want” which allows them to experiment with sounds, themes and develop their own style.
As I listened through the album, each song seemed to harness strength through heavy electronic elements. “Your Heroin” is one of the few songs that feature Wersig as lead vocalist. While parts of the song remind me of early 2000s Christian Rock ballads, the chorus and synth solos create a dark yet enlightening ambience that is unique to no:carrier. The accompanying music video features a mirage of broken mirrors, empty spaces and lights to complete the mood.
The title track, “Broken Rainbow” is a powerful introduction to the album. It is instrumental and builds with layers of sounds. Some of the sounds I could pick up ranged from a dripping faucet to feedback. The overall feel of “Broken Rainbow” and tracks similar like “Little Death” remind me of a dark soundtrack, and are the songs that draw me in to listen further. The fact that no:carrier features a variety of vocalists helps each track sound new from the last.