Now here was a lovely surprise. Out of the UK and pushed by label Cobalt Blue, Adfinem throws out to the world their debut release Live & Learn. After being inundated with harsh electronic noise and thrashy metal-core style sounds lately (Mindless Faith, Beauty, Terebelam, etc.), I was so ready for this. Adfinem are - and if you thought this genre was dead may a thousand cows shit in your path - synthpop. That's right; pure, melodic, tranceable, danceable and wonderfully arranged. Minimal at times with distinct keyboard melodies and clean beats, Adfinem are a band that are resurrecting old Flock of Seagulls, Human League and other early-80's new wave fare.
Adfinem are made up of Lee Adams (keys/programming), Paul Fisher (more keys/programming) and PD (vocals), three UK gents with an air of obscurity and mystery (one of the few bands with a debut release photo where most of them ignore the cameraman - slick, guys - a perfect air of nonchalance). The music herein is, as I said, synthpop material. Bright keyboards, smooth and somewhat minimal in creation; material that fans of the old new wave pond-crossing bands are aching for. Macross over at IPM would love this album.
Favorite tracks of mine include Small Town, with vibrato-less vocals by PD and an even, simple rhythm and beat score. Keyboards float about, never anchoring to any particular instrument, fading into obscurity just like any member of today's small, forgettable villages and towns. More even, easily-danced beats appear in What Can I Do in location 5. This one has a more low-brow rhythm with pumping yet not overly slamming beats, giving your feet something to prance to but forbidding stomping around like a loon. Keyboards are, again, phenomenal in their make-up.
The power behind the music of Adfinem is its palpability and simplicity. It's highly listenable - there are easily plenty of top radioplay tracks here from the computeresque Nothing to Lose to the moody Cry In Silence. The simplicity? Well, there aren't any track-wrenching breakdowns here. Throughout the entire CD, the music is beautifully constructed keeping to the keyboard-rhythm-vocal style without much deviation, but just enough melodic finesse to not get boring from track to track.
Adfinem indeed are a band to watch. Easily marketable, smooth and dreamy, highly danceable. I await hearing them on the radio, over club dancefloors during 80s nights and at parties. It was an unsolicited, wonderful surprise in my mailbox at the Legends office and I am happy to say that with the work of Cobalt Blue and Adfinem the synthpop genre is alive and well in the UK. Easily available from the band, Live & Learn will cost you $15 including postage. Also, the first ten people to mention that they read this review in Legends will receive a special promotions pack that includes a t-shirt, CD Single, and more!
Post: Cobalt Blue, BCM Carfax, London, WC1N 3XX, England
Phone: 0780 11 77 88 1