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Fancy Ultra-Fresh
The Archenemy Record Company

I will freely admit that few things in life make me as giddy as 80's synth-pop. Even more so when it is done extremely well and filled with the enjoyable spirit of the genre. Freezepop does just that. The band takes a bouncy, fun, and traditional approach on their second full-length release, Fancy Ultra-Fresh. Taking not only the great sounds of early 80's new wave in their music, but also borrowing from the genre-makers in taking clever and fun names for themselves; Liz Enthusiasm, The Duke of Pannekoeken, and the Other Sean T. Drinkwater. Oh yeah, and the haircuts and clothes… they are also very retro.

I used to lay awake at night ingesting the computer sounds of Kraftwerk, and it is rather obvious that these folks did as well. The music is laced with FM synthesis, catchy melody lines, and heavy vocoder use. "Stakeout" gets the record kicking with infectious 909 beats and highly echoing synth lines that you can link right back to early Vince Clark-era Depeche Mode. The Speak and Spell™ comes out of hibernation for "I Am Not Your Gameboy", a jumpy rhythmic song with hints of The Human League, both in sound and in lyric content. " Don't play with me/ I'm not your toy/ Oh can't you see/ I'm not your gameboy." Men Without Hats would have been proud to call "Parlez-vous Freezepop" their own… of course, that is if Ivan hadn't lost his mind and disavowed all ties to early works of the band. "Chess King" will remind you of all those things you thought were cool back when a young teenager of the 80's, from hanging at the mall, to Spencer's Gifts, to Benitton and Drakar. "Duct Tape My Heart" stands up to any song that I've heard recently; it is filled with clever lyrics that tell a great little story, and some very cool music which has layers upon layers of depth. "Tonight" is a track reminiscent of Freur's finest musical moments.

At a time when it seems the 1980's are finally getting their comeback, with clothes emulating the early to mid years of the decade, so it seems modern music is making nods to the era, as well. So if, like me, you grew up in those kooky 80's and remember the bands I've talked about here (and a few more), and truly enjoyed the music they made, then my suggestion to you is to check out Fancy Ultra-Fresh. Freezepop make pop music an enjoyable listen, while also taking the listener down a little memory lane roadtrip. The disc also includes the "Stakeout" Video, live footage of the band, and some other cool bonus features.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. Stakeout
2. Bike Thief
3. I Am Not Your Gameboy
4. Parlez-vous Freezepop?
5. Chess King
6. Outer Space
7. That Boy Is All About Fun!
8. Duct Tape My Heart
9. Manipulate (mastermind mix)
10. Emotions & Photons
11. Tonight
12. Boys On Film

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