"Wicked Girl has a quite predictable vocal introduction (low aahs and hmms designed no doubt to remind us that this girl is wicked) over a very sparse synth backdrop. Still, the line “I'm not gonna live in the kitchen and I'm not gonna be your mother.” is a belter."
Electroluvs – Bubblewrapped (Ninth Wave /firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you like Analogue synths then you will like this record. It's as simple as that. First Rush is a curious mix of Soft Cell and Add N to X. For some reason the lad's voice is incredibly familiar. Give me time and I'll place it, but he packs a lot of vocal styles in two minutes.
Boy Don't Bother is a teen lament set over a lush synth landscape. Its very sugary stuff indeed. An intro with a twangy guitar heralds Over & Over; the sixties feel is augmented by the plaintive vocal delivery. It is sparse stuff but gets away with it by including some whining synths and abrasive guitar textures. A bouncy drum pattern leads us in to On Thin Ice. Which is a needle in the eye rant about someone who does not drink or smoke, (I think). It also has the glorious line "It's a crap way of being a rebel". I liked that. (Note to self, the guy sounds a wee bit like Roddy Frame?) Wicked Girl has a quite predictable vocal introduction (low aahs and hmms designed no doubt to remind us that this girl is wicked) over a very sparse synth backdrop. Still, the line "I'm not gonna live in the kitchen and I'm not gonna be your mother." is a belter. The rather eye-poppingly named Teenage Timebomb is up next, sounding for all the world like an outtake from Dare, so remedial is the synth accompaniment. It is psychotic and insufferably twee in equal measure.
Spooky is a low-grade love song with some of the daftest lyrics committed to tape since the Shags. I'm unsure if it's ironic or not. I hope it isn't as it would lose some of its monomaniac charm. After Spooky we get Bubblewrapped, which starts like a malfunction alert in the Duracell factory. Actually this is the best song on here, simply because the guitar adds a sense of warmth, and the vocals are more urgent and compelling than before (but that's just me, I don't like vocals that sound as if they're being spelt out). Good stuff! The guitar continues to be prominent on Guilty Party, its growling presence introducing a dark introspective mood piece that rants on for a good five minutes.
Last up is Blonde, a slightly bonkers and very fey finale where a breathy girl vocal tells us about her blonde boyfriend. Again, the guitar adds some insistence, but the vocals need in my humble opinion to be a little less coy on the chorus. Songs about blondes are brassy, right?
Entertaining stuff. I find it a leetle bit coy and definitely pop for pop's sake; but none the worse for that.
Words: Richard Foster.