THE FIX UPS debut self titled album is a genre mashing pop freakout! Like an 80s Trans Am sports car through the French Riviera this is opulent pop with a sense of style. 2000s indie dancefloor bangers, and new wave synths is just the beginning as the gentle lead vocals lure you to your death like a siren of the sea. It’s art pop and punk dance. And it’s not taking any prisoners.
Doing a 17 date tour across the USA isn’t how most bands would start, but then again THE FIX UPS aren’t most bands. Marlene Samson and Nikos Shannon, criss-crossed the continent from Boston’s Cheer Up Charlie and New York’s Piano’s, down to New Orleans The French, and across to San Francisco‘s Brick and Mortar, the bands baptism by fire directed their musical output to what got the best reactions on the road. This attitude fuelled the duos creative fires and upon returning to the land of Oz, the band set up a makeshift studio in a Templestowe farmhouse and began tracking their debut album. With drummer Ash Meaghre now in tow the 8 songs that emerged are anything but boring. Mimicking their USA adventures the band likewise criss-cross genres with tactical precision and ease. It’s pop but not as you know it. It’s dance without DJs and incredibly fun! [pullquote]“We wanted to record these songs as quickly as possible to capture the energy of writing them. The sound jumped an order of magnitude with the addition of real drums. And recording the whole album in two days was stamina provoking.” Marlene – THE FIX UPS[/pullquote] Album opener ‘Monkey Dance’ drops obnoxious synth bass on you like a tonne of bricks. It’s heavy and throbbing. Coupled with angular post punk vocals, the tune is a dancefloor thumper reminiscent of The Knife. ‘Fearless’ takes quite a different tact, it’s all cute, dream-pop that’s groovy and cool. Vocals are glistening and beautiful with melodic twists and turns the song takes you on a journey as it skips along. Along with ‘Mushroom Tea’ these two lay down plenty of soft synth lines and with their super melodic hooks it’s hard not to fall in love while dancing along!
‘It’s Your Life’ takes a page out of Blondie’s book and ramps up chunky punk guitars with a party tune that bashes the life out of you. ‘Secrets’ takes it one step further adding healthy dose of attitude, you will think it’s a lost Yeah Yeah Yeahs classic.
The group, throw every influence at this album from psych, new wave, grunge (and even reggae in their album closer ‘Do What’), with a synth heavy base and a keen sense of pop melodies. However counteracting the brash attitude of some and punky guitars are beautifully delivered vocals of Marlene Samson and acoustic drums that give the album depth that most high produced pop is lacking.
True to their genre mashing penchant they’ve taken a sharp turn on the coastal freeway off a cliff into the ocean and come up with a haunting video for the synth ballad ‘Breathe’.
Gone are the dance beats and angular guitars but in its place is ghostly whispers and meandering melodies that wrap around you like a blanket. It feels like Goldfrapp and Sarah Blasko as they weave soundscapes and dreamscapes with gentle vocals from Marlene who woos you into a sense of security only to drag you to your death.
The video is haunting and confusing as you wonder if a murder taken place and who is the murderer. Or is the person just going mad?
“Breathe is about inner reflections, connecting to the elements and getting away from the rat race life can present at times. It was written by the beach in winter, where we were doing exactly that, as well as being inspired by the mysteries of the unknown. The film was made by UK filmmaker, Katy Milner and shot along the river Thames in London. Katy and I lived in a warehouse together back in the day and she asked us if there was a song that she could shoot a video for. Breathe fit the imagery she wanted to film perfectly with the images of winter and inner reflection, as well as adding a bit of suspense. It is a story about how a woman accidentally shoots her friend and is haunted by the gun.” Marlene – THE FIX UPS
This album is for fans of local heavyweights Architecture in Helsinki, Heatwave and indie pioneers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ting Tings and Goldfrapp. Their live shows are half punk and half dance floor. Check them out as they launch their album in Melbourne.
THE FIX UPS ALBUM LAUNCH
Thursday September 13th The Gasometer Hotel Melbourne
With Dayelle and The Substance, Glass Diamonds
THE FIX UPS self-titled debut is out now on all digital retailers.