My electronica indulgence has returned over the last decade or so and my love for finding happy electronica creators whom have a little something different about them always unearths new discoveries. A few years ago British band Fenech-Soler popped onto my radar and their latest album Zilla is the perfect opportunity to jump on the bandwagon.
Crossing the line between electronica dance producers and synth rock bands in set up, the group create a catchy mixture of club riffs and chord structures but merges in some guitars and pop tune sensibilities into their music. It allows for a clean, crisp sound that is focused on euphoria and moving about even if the lyrics don’t convey the same emotion. Album openers “Kaleidoscope” and “On Top” showcase this to perfection, whereas “Night Time TV” is all about the bass line which sounds like it’s been ripped from a Michael Jackson track from his prime popularity. Indeed, whilst everything sounds fresh and interesting, there’s plenty of nods back to yesteryear with 80’s big production and 90’s chord needs.
However, whilst the band is firmly in electronica, they often take their songs into the form and structure of a rock track and “Conversation” really showcases this and is possibility my personal favourite on the album. It’s got such a great beat and plenty of fills and build ups, it’s like a mini party in four minutes. It’s not all full-blown party on the album though. Two instrumental tracks “Zilla I” and “Zilla II” break up the beats with more soundscape artistry and the middle of the album showcases a darker and broodier side to the music. “Cold Light” specifically relies of guitars more than keyboards to push into the indie rock scene and it they handle to fantastically with a more plugged feel to things. I would love to see if they took more of this approach in the future as they would merge synth and guitar perfectly.
“Undercover” slowly brings you out of the darker side before “Touch” brings you back to the full party high – handclaps a plenty. The closing duo of tracks are interesting though because they dabble in new sounds, specifically some synth string work on “From Afar”. Fenech-Soler are no strangers to epic choruses or finales but they haven’t got for that symphonic angle before and it works really well.
“Zilla” will be my go to album for electronica for 2017. It’s perfect to jump around the living room to, or to power walk round the park at lunch with. It’s a less harsh, more plugged tone this time round but they have cracked it and made a stonking stomper of an album.
Recommended Track : Conversation