~reviewed by Kevin Filan
The English music press is calling them "the next Oasis" -- and they aren't even offended. What's more, Fischerspooner openly boasts of their "mediocrity" and considers their musical ouvre to be a mere framework for their elaborate stage show. (Several of their tracks include loud "blips," so that they'll hear the cue for costume changes even if the monitors aren't working). It should be easy enough to loathe Fischerspooner -- or at least to dismiss them as a bunch of posers. And it would be... if it weren't for that damned "Emerge" track.
You've probably heard "Emerge" by now: It's been getting heavy rotation in clubs around the world. It features profound lyrics like "Looks good/feels good/is good/that's right ... / is good too" combined with hooks that will leave you singing in the shower for weeks. It's literally "unforgettable" -- not in the Nat King Cole sense of the word but in that wrap-around-your-synapses-like-an-octopus-then-grow-until-you're-humming-it-in-elevators way. Remember "Safety Dance" by Men Without Hats? I bet you can remember the first verse and chorus, even if you hated the ferschlugginer song. Well, "Emerge" is even more contagious.
If you're following the career path blazed by Flock of Seagulls and other one-hit (too many) wonders, you'll give the public one good single amidst a CD full of dreck. Looking at the selection on this CD, I suspect Fischerspooner may be more ambitious -- or more talented -- than they let on. Sure, they have the requisite second-rate retread of their big hit ("Invisible") and the unnecessary instrumental ("Ersatz"), but they've also got a couple of *worthwhile* songs on their debut. The moody keyboards of "The 15th" wouldn't be out of place on a Depeche Mode album, while "the driving, propulsive rhythms of "Fucker" and "Turn On" are guaranteed to fill a dance floor.
So what's their secret? The production
helps: it retains the slick, anhedonic feel of 80s synthpop without the
sappiness that plagues so much 21st century Synthpop. So does
the basic simplicity of this music. Despite all their costume changes
and overblown stage shows, most Fischerspooner tracks are uncomplicated
affairs. They find a groove, then nourish it tenderly, allowing it
to grow into a full-fledged monster riff. There's nothing
Would I recommend this? Does it matter: you're going to be hearing it sooner or later, no matter what I say. And it's going to make you dance. Why fight it? Get your copy now.
Official Fischerspooner Website