Spine Tingling

Theatrical electro with the sublime gravitas of Placebo and with more synth sheen, IAMX are simply impossible to be underwhelmed by. Chris Corner's metallic vocals pierce the mesmerising melodies from the very offset of 'President', with its vamping, hypnotic rhythm and grandiose statement that, "I could be president". Compared to plenty of presidents, Corner would of course be a safe bet.

There are dark numbers like 'The Alternative' with its heroic vocals howling over a gritty, techno beat full of shuffling handclaps, while the chorus is a brief few lines, it's refreshing that the whole tune feels more dynamic than the brief refrain that most groups offer; and 'Nightlife' which follows suit with an insistent racing pulse and symphonic vocal harmonies.

'Lulled By Numbers' is icy, sinister and guaranteed to make your spine tingle as a series of disconnected splintered synth sounds permeate the fluctuating vocal line. Getting ever more wicked, 'Bring Me Back A Dog' shows off a crushing mix of industrial scenery and raw sentiments that would see Depeche Mode quiver in their boots at the ease with which Corner also draws upon religion to increase the demonic drive of his music.

Haunting ballads seem to come equally easily as aggressive melodrama to IAMX with 'S.H.E' the first pirouetting work of cool passion to punctuate the album, while the achingly beguiling 'This Will Make You Love Again' returns to rip your heart out with its ebbing piano and hollow instrumentals which allows the vocals to resonate deeper inside your chest.

'After Every Party I Die' may sound like pure emo drivel but its glassy, stoical beauty, along with a shuddering, doom-laden riff that's reminscent of Marilyn Manson make it a true diamond, albeit a dark one, as Corner swoons, "You're duller than you think you're deep". The piece de resistance is a string version of 'After Every Party I Die' which is truly moving with chugging double bass and heartwrenching violins which ooze emotion without saying a word.

The tunes are striking and although there may be a sense of repetition boarding on monotony for those who aren't major fans of the gothed-up electro style, 'The Alternative' offers up the definitive alternative to 2007's dirge of indie bands with their jingling air of smugness. Well, take that boys, Chris Corner could be president and there's a firm following of fans behind him.