The Presets – Pacifica

PacificaAustralian duo The Presets present their third album Pacifica, a ten-track electro concoction.

The opening track “Youth in Trouble” builds promisingly with some fast paced rhythmical techno. Good electronic music removes the grip of conscious thought, taking us away from the everyday world inhabited by words and thoughts. It allows the subconscious to breathe and is certainly something spiritual. It’s difficult to bridge this formless connection with language, and one minute into the opening track this potential is shattered by big-brother style authoritative announcements. The fragile beauty of electronica is lost by these heavy vocals, which beat down any chance of the rest of the track regaining the listener’s trust.

Ultimately there is a lack of identity running through the album; the industrial throbbing of the opening track runs into “Ghosts” which has lots of words, but gets no point across, with out of place indie-esque drums and vocals. This is followed by “Promises” which unexpectedly goes very camp and very 80s – however it’s not without its charms and is a potential guilty pleasure. Think Adam and the Ants, talking horoscopes and amyl nitrate with your older sister. If you are a regular Topshop customer you may be hearing this album a lot. Unfortunately, “Push” is the inner narrative of a man steeply descending into his first K-hole, who’s had the sudden epiphany that he should try his hand at freestyle rapping.

Pacifica could be an excellent New-Romantic reincarnation, but there is too much commercial Basshunter like naffness, especially in “Surrender” and “Fast Seconds”. The band could put a 21st century touch on Visage’s Fade to Grey. “It’s Cool” is sultry and hints the band could have much more to offer. “Fail Epic” is a pretentious indulgence, prescribing we “open up our hearts” without any serious reasons why.

It’s not clear when you would listen to this album. It’s not something to unwind too, nor something to party too. There’s some lyrical content, but little emotional appeal. I’d gingerly suggest it’s something to pound a treadmill too, but there are too many wobbling vocals to keep you inspired. The album is punctuated with warm ambience, and catchy rhythms, but the heavy vocals, and sickly faux romance remove most of the credibility.

Release: 14th October 2013, Modular

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