Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Fixers – Swimmhaus Johannesburg

And then there’s this bloke with an unpleasant voice.


[Video][Website]
[4.30]

Jonathan Bogart: Guess who just heard Screamadelica for the first time!
[4]

Iain Mew: Sounds a bit like Klaxons if they’d taken different bits of the early 90s as their starting point, with piano house, crunchy guitars, various yelps and whirs and an intro reaching for the epic in a way that also recalls Muse’s “Knights of Cydonia”. There’s an awful lot of stuff thrown in here giving a strong initial impression of chaos and noise, and the blaring synths are admittedly much more enjoyable than the blaring singer, but they’re added in without losing sight of the (strong and straightforward) beats and song which are driving it in the first place. So as dense as it gets, it’s still exciting and not just a mess.
[7]

Brad Shoup: From the outset, the singer lets us know how it’s gonna be: he’s gonna repeat the opening words in a dreadful nasal whine. Frequently. Oh, and someone’s squatting on the synth’s upper register, sounding for all the world like one of those trebly motion-activated Halloween ghost figurines. It’s so grating, I couldn’t give this track my customary 50 listens. I also refuse to accept Duran Duran as any kind of musical touchstone, but I realize that’s a personal problem.
[2]

Ian Mathers: “The band’s influences include Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Kate Bush, Cocteau Twins and Vanilla Fudge.” If the Fixers are trying to make a point about how influences != how a band sounds, bully for them, I guess. If they actually think they approach any of those listed, I worry for their mental acuity. But I already kind of did anyway. Are you sure you don’t want to rethink the Vanilla Fudge namedrop, guys?
[4]

Katherine St Asaph: The vocalist careens through his syllables as if someone threatened to snip off an inch of his vocal cords for every word listeners recognized; judging by the snippet of disco/San Francisco rhyme I caught, that’s probably for the best. There’s a gorgeous instrumental behind it, though, if you’d like to ignore him.
[6]

Frank Kogan: Dogged indie dance track with a surprisingly poignant earworm, an emotional pang from singers who don’t really have the voices for it. Not sure why such bands can’t go out and get heavenly singers. Maybe they no longer know where to look. The melody calls for doo-wop kids in candy stores, or refugees from church choirs, or at least someone who desperately wants that feeling.
[7]

Zach Lyon: Oh fun, a quick game of Find The Song! This time, it’s buried underneath the most grating singer you’ve heard thus far. You have four minutes.
[2]

Michaela Drapes: Yikes, sometimes you can have too many influences and not enough original ideas. Case in point: this song. The vocals are particularly grating with all that swooping and no substance. Kid, you are no Dave Gahan. Sorry.
[4]

Edward Okulicz: I have fantasies that the music of this could be used to do great things for many an aspiring indie-dance-pop singer. Or perhaps Erasure or Will Young. Even Kele Okereke, for god’s sake. Jack Goldstein’s pronunciation is so strangulated that the International Phonetic Alphabet is as useless against it as my eardrums. Which is such a pity because the music is so pulsing.
[4]

Jer Fairall: Animal Collectivism given just enough of a shot of 80s arena-pop to be kinda tolerable, at least until I realize how much I wish they’d just drop the shit and turn this into “Two Tribes” after all.
[3]

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