England - Full Moon 186 - 11/10/11
Negative Drive Records
What draws us to certain bands, songs or albums can be inexplicable. It's especially befuddling when all the ingredients are in place for something to really massage
our pleasure receptors and yet we feel nothing. Bristol-based quintet Hi-Fiction Science's melding of krautrock, folk-pop, indie-rock and electronics has all the hallmarks
of a great listen, but sadly this debut disc leaves me cold.
There's plenty of promise here, but it feels like there's something missing or off-kilter. Perhaps it's Maria Charles' vocals, which are oddly dispassionate, or the
way in which the instruments fit together nicely enough, but don't really seem to play off each other in particularly interesting ways. Occasionally the rhythm section
will do something sneaky and cool, but other than that, things just seem to ride along in an uber-cool fashion, detached and decent enough, but missing a certain magic,
as though the songs haven't gone through the final round of tweaking and development in order to really make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
There's no doubt Hi-Fiction Science are a good band, which is why this album is so frustrating. The ingredients are tasty, it just needs a little bit of alchemy to
bring them together in a more original and satisfying way.
Copyright © 2011 Tim Clarke