Adult. Anxiety Always

Adult seem to be growing up angry on Anxiety Always, a sharp contrast to the Detroit duo’s last LP Resuscitation, which at times sounded like a modern, Motor City Men Without Hats. Nicola Kuperus barks like an amped-up aerobics instructor while partner Adam Lee Miller blends abrasive, treble-heavy synth stabs and tsunami bass swells that flatten any radio-friendly expectations. This new post-punk approach (the band even uses live, albeit fuzzy, instrumentation) may be an attempt to evade the electroclash tag that has befallen them, but it comes at the cost of their previous penchant for pop. In fact, it isn’t until the album’s final two tracks that Adult display the fluid melody that mitigated the assembly-line beats of their past efforts. "We Know How to Have Fun” features Kuperus sounding like Ladytron browsing through a porn shop at the earth’s core, while Miller bakes in the background playing his ‘pits through a processor. The disc is rounded out by the near-pop snaking bass and stair-step synths of "Kick in the Shin,” which judging by the LP's back cover, would hurt like all hell. An unexpected but welcome change. (Ersatz)