Adult. D.U.M.E.

The married duo of Nicole Kuperus and Adam Lee Miller were really in the right place at the right time when they dropped their debut album, Resuscitation, a compilation of their vinyl-only EPs, right at the peak of the electroclash craze. However, once that two-year fad wore off and dance music searched for another movement, Adult. found themselves struggling to remain important. Their second album, Anxiety Always, really didn’t match the energy of its predecessor and instead suffered from monotony, and that isn’t just in reference to Kuperus’ lifeless vocals. Now signed to Thrill Jockey, the pair seems to be rejuvenating their schtick and they half succeed on this six-song EP. Right away D.U.M.E. reveals its desperation to find a new sub-genre host to latch onto and suck the life out of. Falling somewhere between the Normal’s dreary pulsating electro and the Banshees’ more raging side of arty goth-punk, the music feels a lot darker than before. Kuperus has added some much needed emotion to her vocals, but her squeals fail to sound natural and even comfortable. "Hold Your Breath” sounds inept with its derivative electro-punk mashing, and "Don’t Talk” sounds like they were stuck and decided to rehash a throwaway from album number two. Only "The End” with its ear-piercing guitars and the title track, with its laid back, pulsating groove really offer anything at all, but with such a hit and miss songwriting formula you have to be thinking, "Why bother with this mess in the first place?” (Thrill Jockey)