Fenech-Soler - Fenech-Soler (B-Unique)

Anthony Cody | Monday, 04 October 2010

Fenech-Soler - Fenech-Soler (B-Unique)

Let's just clear the name up firstly. One of the band members has the rather unusual surname Fenech-Soler, so Fenech-Soler's name is not as mysterious as first thought. Works though, doesn't it?

'Lies' kicks off with a Daft Punk-inspired synth intro. It's a strong single which has made it onto Radio 1's B-list (it gets played fairly often and it has the benefit of being a cool outsider track, too). The electro-brass sound on 'Golden Sun' is inspired. Chase & Status used the same sound on their latest album, too, and it worked brilliantly. Expect 'Golden Sun' to be visited by a few top DJs for a cheeky remix in the near future.

'Stop And Stare' is an album highlight. It's a slightly more refined track; not as high-tempo, but with its euphoric synths, it has the most memorable melody on the album. Unfortunately the album rather tails off after a strong start. 'The Great Unknown' veers into Flight of the Conchords territory, with cheesy lyrics and overdone vocals; as does 'Contender', with its falsetto chorus and whispering lines like "Cos you're never gonna hurt me/Cos you're never gonna beat me." It's all a little bit camp. 'Stone Bridge' is akin to Klaxons remixing a Soft Cell classic, so all is not lost during the second half of the album.

The first listen of Fenech-Soler's debut album may underwhelm, but familiarity does not breed contempt with this one. Second and third time round, once you 'get' the fact that the band have pretty much ripped as many electro-riffs and rhythms from the 1980s as is humanly possibly, their sound begins to ingrain itself in you, to such an extent that after a while you'll find it hard to believe that these guys are only just starting out. It's a solid debut from a band that is clearly at home in their genre and will look to master it in the future.

In short, if you enjoy the works of Friendly Fires and Delphic or if you pine for the hazy electro days of the 80s, you'll enjoy this LP. It won't blow your mind but it certainly won't disappoint.