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Adult.
Gimmie Trouble
Thrill Jockey Records
www.adultperiod.com


Adult. is a mature name for a rock act, but this music is by no means easy listening. And even though the trio's Gimmie Trouble CD is notable for its club-worthy beats per minute and synthesized melodies, it's also not particularly danceable, either. Listening to Adult. is like meeting somebody not quite right in the head: Something's severely wrong somehow, but you just can't put your finger on it.

The three members of Adult. are: Adam Lee Miller and Samuel Consigilo on "instruments," and Nicola Kuperus on vocals and "instruments." These "instruments," by the way, are primarily of the electronic variety. Case in point: The title track here comes off like Kuperus is singing over a video game soundtrack.

Kuperus gives the impression of being starved for attention throughout. In her calmer moments, which are few and far between, she's a little bit like the mysterious Siouxsie Sioux. But more often than not, she's a troubled Nina Hagen sound-alike. She colors her singing with vocal hiccups, squeals, and general yelping. She also never sounds happy, but instead has no trouble working up anger and paranoia as if it were verbal volcanic lava. "Bad Ideas" contains a few handy instances of Kuperus' frustration: "Predictions are in/Nonsense seems to win/The air can get so tense/When directions make no sense".

Adult. sounds like nobody in particular, although there are quite a few songs here that point back to familiar '80s radio sounds. A Devo groove drives "Stranger Mistake," and B-52s guitar textures color "Still Waiting." Overall, the beats are robotic, rather than soulful, and the melodies leave uneasy feelings, not good ones.
A few lines from "In My Nerves" sum up the Adult. listening experience best. "Getting on my nerves/And under my skin/I'm just not foreseeing that it will be leaving."

If this music also gets on your nerves and gives you a headache, you're probably not alone.

-Dan MacIntosh

Track Listing:
1.Gimmie Trouble
2. Bad Ideas
3. Scare Up the Birds
4. Thought I Choked
5. Stranger Mistakes
6. Disappoint the Youth
7. In My Nerves
8. Turn into Fever
9. Helen Bach
10. Still Waiting
11. Lovely Love
12. Seal Me In


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