Casiotone for the Painfully Alone Etiquette

Cynics beware. With a name like that and an accompanying picture that is all beard and Converse All-Stars, there is a minefield of po-faced emo jokes to be had. Ignore them, and CFTPA, for Owen Ashworth actually showcases a Postal Service-like knack for melody and energy, while moving beyond that band’s particular electronic palette. The first burst of energy from CFTPA comes from the otherwise beat-driven "Young Shields,” where it seems to be all indie electro until the very end when a dissonant guitar kicks in for an interesting counterpoint. "Scattered Pearls” features a lovely lady at the helm of the vocals, leaving CFTPA to work the skittish beats around into a subdued ’80s style backing. The pop part of CFTPA’s vision comes to the best fruition on "Holly Hobby (Version),” where the male/female harmonies and warmer instrumentation makes for a catchy venture. It is the sublime "Bobby Malone Moves Home,” though, where CFTPA makes the most sense. It’s muted repeating piano chords and flat, somewhat sneer-y delivery give this song some desperately needed attitude. It is here where CFTPA drops the pretence just ever so slightly, and, wonderfully, shows the perfect amount of frustration. Maybe it’s true that the geeks shall inherit the Earth. (Tomlab)