Storybox | No Dancing Allowed

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Electronic: Synthpop Pop: Synth Pop Moods: Out-and-Proud
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No Dancing Allowed

by Storybox

Classic synthpop melodies and sounds with a modern twist. If you like Depeche Mode, Erasure, OMD, Pet Shop Boys and Human League, you will love Storybox's No Dancing Allowed.
Genre: Electronic: Synthpop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. No Dancing Allowed
6:48 $0.99
2. Never Wonder (Words Unspoken)
5:29 $0.99
3. Ashes In The Air
4:39 $0.99
4. Fantasy
3:04 $0.99
5. Sun
4:27 $0.99
6. Things We Said Today
3:04 $0.99
7. Ardor
5:42 $0.99
8. Kapitel 1
1:59 $0.99
9. Dream Ghosts
3:41 $0.99
10. Therapy
4:28 $0.99
11. You Move Me
3:36 $0.99
12. Gone With The Wind
4:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"No Dancing Allowed is a body of work lyrically, photographically, and sonically that will invite contrasts and comparisons."
Mike Ventarola - ReGen Magazine (April 17, 2008)

""One of the most creative and emblematic (not to mention bona fide feel-good!) albums to come out of 2007."
Jed Ryan - PM Entertainment Magazine (Jan 2, 2008)

"...Naked... genuine and without frills."
Maurizio Pustianaz - Chain D.L.K. (Nov 19, 2007)

"Storybox has an appreciation for the combined heydays of dance music and new wave."
Gregg Shapiro - OutSmart Magazine (Oct 22, 2007)

"Storybox often picks up on society's thoughts and actions toward the world's gay population in a way that actually makes you stop and listen. This is certainly one of the album's strongest attributes, and I found he explores this area with clearly a lot of thought involved."
Paul Marcham - Connexion Bizarre (Oct 22, 2007)



to write a review

jed ryan

STORYBOX: "No Dancing Allowed"

"No Dancing Allowed" is the debut album from Storybox, identified on the official site as "the poptronic music outlet for Agent D., AKA Dave Montana". Montana produced, programmed, arranged, played guitar and keys, and performed all of the 11 songs on this pinnacle of popcraft-- and wrote all but one of them. Right off from the first few beats of the opening title track, the stage is set for this musician's particular skill: creating superb electronic beats and instantly addictive rhythms. It's strikingly clear that Agent D. was influenced by some of the most creative and emblematic (not to mention bona fide feel-good!) new wave music which hit the masses in the '80's: Sparks, Depeche Mode, and New Order among them. Yet, not content to rely solely on his magic box of electronic special effects, he does indeed have a voice. Montana's voice is grounded, strong, and more concrete than a lot of the singers from the genre and era that he was influenced by. Yet, he's also got quite an impressive range (This comes out very clearly at many points throughout the album...), and he also has the capacity to sound (Dare I say?) sweetly romantic. In other words, at times he can emote more tenderness than you'd expect to come from a man who, in person, makes for a very imperious presence. Occasionally, his voice becomes grand, soaring, and almost otherworldly-- not unlike one of his presumed musical role models Dave Gahan, lead vocalist for Depeche Mode. "No Dancing Allowed" the album opens with the title track, which may (, must!) become the next dancefloor anthem, a call to action that should be heard from New York City to Dave Montana's home state of North Carolina. The song opens with an almost apocalyptic aura, and moves on to the deep house sound and grand feeling of freedom and abandon that we used to feel at some of New York's legendary clubs (The Roxy and Limelight among them). The listener detects a vein of forbidden ecstasy running through the whole song. Given the dictatorial crackdown on dancing in clubs in New York City over the last few years, the song transcends from fantasy to what may be a very real picture of the future: a song based on a true story about to happen:
"Imagine no beat,
Imagine no sound;
Your hands on your back,
Your face on the ground.
Thou shalt not dance,
Thou shalt not move;
Thou shalt not swing,
Thou shalt not groove..."

The end result is amazing. If "No Dancing Allowed" doesn't start a revolution through its message, nothing will:

"Stomp your feet,
Raise your hands;
Move your body
As fast as you can.
The time is now,
To take your chance;
Fuck any law that says,
'No dancing allowed'!"

The next song, "Never Wonder (Words Unspoken)" will remind astute listeners of one of New Order's most well-known tracks, "Bizarre Love Triangle". With this one, Storybox shifts genres and reminds us that a love song can be irresistibly (Dare I say again?) sentimental, yet rock solid at the same time. For the third track, "Ashes In the Air", the listener is intrigued by an ominous melody (think Depeche Mode's "Agent Orange") morphing into a brooding beat (Think Depeche Mode's "Strangelove"), followed by more upbeat poptronica effects. For a moment we think we're hearing more lighthearted stuff, although the listener soon realizes, via the lyrics, that there's a far, far darker message behind the song. Yes, it's about the Holocaust...

"Led to a place of darkness,
Disguised as a shower room;
The poison fell upon them,
While the others went up in fumes...

Ashes, ashes in the air,
Cried out for help but no one really cared;
I can hear them screaming everywhere,
Do you see those ashes in the air..."

For "Fantasy", Montana adopts yet another vocal style, offering an almost medieval sound and some impressive vocal highlights. "Sun", another gem on the CD, returns to the '80's-influenced, electro-pop realm-- evoking early Depeche Mode ("Just Can't Get Enough") and featuring space-age blips, digital raindrops, and an overall ethereal ambience. The feeling is poor joy-- no more, no less. Next up is "Things We Said Today", the only song on "No Dancing Allowed" that Montana did not write. Originally heard in 1964 (It was composed for The Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night" and was the B-side of the single of the same name...), the lyrics are timeless, and the melody of Agent D.'s version is addictive. Montana adopts a free-spirited, '60's-influenced sound as an homage to the original; but ultimately, this new interpretation is unmistakably our generation! "Ardor" shifts gears again, serving up a darker atmosphere... and it's not hard to detect a "master and servant" subtext behind the music, even if you don't analyze the lyrics. The sexual tension is intense! This song would be the perfect background music for a, shall we say, forbidden after-hours club. A real stunner comes with "Thearapy". Whether or not the song is fiction or was inspired by true life events is irrelevant -- it's haunting and disturbing either way, and the fact that it's set against a musically neutral (as opposed to, let's say, a more sinister beat...) makes the deadpan, confessional-style lyrics even more jolting.

"You Move Me" is yet another high point on "No Dancing Allowed", pushing Dave Montana's vocals to the forefront. It's the best love song that Martin Gore, Vince Clarke, Andy Bell, or Neil Tennant never wrote:

"But round and round and round we go,
Discussing things we should let flow;
Say you will be mine,
Until the end of time.

Your eyes they dance,
When you look at me;
It makes me wonder what you see.
You move me, you move me..."

The lyrics may be simple, but Mr. Montana's delivery makes it complete. But just when Agent D. shows us a bit more of his vocal power in "You Move Me", the album closes with "Gone With the Wind". A true stunner of a closer, this final track features vocals by Montana that go even further in range and intensity(Love those mega-impressive high notes!), backed by some expertly produced electronic rifts. Overall, "No Dancing Allowed" is destined to stand as one of the most creative and emblematic (not to mention bona fide feel-good!) albums to come out of 2007. Like the protagonist in the album's title track calling clubgoers to action, the debut album by Storybox is likely to cause a revolution as well.

Jed Ryan
PM Entertainment Magazine