Fenech-Soler Live Review

ABC2 22.09.11

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You may not have heard of Fenech-Soler. Fenech-Soler are a band (even if they sound like some kind of arsey, middling range of organic body scrubs) who make music as most bands tend to do.

Churning out a punchy debut album in their oddly unqiue sound that brings together indie, pop and electronica in a way that’s both catchy and hard to pigeon hole, Fenech-Soler are something to be excited about. On CD anyway. Said debut album (Fenech-Soler) offered up a great mixture of sharply structured pop hits and soaring anthems to jump about to while tidying your room/not revising/etc. The combination of slick writing and strong male vocals singled the album out from a field of male vocalists all trying to emulate the woeful Bruno Mars or JLS, offering some genuine musicality with an original twist. But how did the tracks transfer to a live setting?

I’m all for showmanship but when a frontman is prancing about like the entire evening is a celebration of his unique brilliance and not about the music, it can slightly kill the mood. Aspiring singers take note; miming out your lyrics, trying to hook your mic stand to the rafters on multiple occassions and then thumping your chest to evoke deeper meaning from the song is not the work of a great frontman, it’s the work of a jackass.

Singer aside, Fenech- Soler did offer up an evening of fairly intoxicating electronica and really got the crowd going. The band’s musicianship seriously couldn’t be faulted, their deceptively simple strain of anthemic indie pop translating well to the stage. And while their frontman did overpower some of their weaker tracks, their strongest songs (including Lies, Demons and non-album track Airbrushed) won out and proved that the band are going places in the world of pop music. They just need to write more great songs or just tell their frontman to “sit down, shut up”.

Fenech-Soler’s gig wasn’t everything I expected as arguably their onstage persona definitely conflicts with their recorded sound. Regardless, they are a band definitely worthy of your time and appreciation if you’re into your electro pop with an indie twist.(just start with the album first.) [Adam Sorice]

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