Monofader Frost

Apparently Monofader’s earliest roots were in a caffeinated collaboration between Icon of Coil’s Sebastian R. Komor and Richard Bjorkland of Spektralized. One demo and several years later we have their first proper collaborative album effort, Frost. This album, which opens with a darkly futuristic (but at the same time retro lo-fi) "system check,” is an odd but surprisingly passable meshing of worlds. The music is synth-pop but the vocals all scream of Erasure, Pet Shop Boys and on every slow song, Depeche Mode ballads. Like the aforementioned intro, the whole album is a seemingly contradictory amalgamation of the future and the (retro) past. Monofader never get too heavy or pounding, their ultra-clean, light-hearted sound and bright programming stays on the safest side of the synth-pop/EBM genre. This makes them terribly easy to digest but unfortunately also makes the cuts kind of limp (and much too slow to be danceable) at times. That said, there are very few songs on this album that would make one really run out onto a dance floor and stomp it out. The vocals (and ultimately the lyrics) often hit home much more powerfully than the drumbeats and smooth programming they are served up on. Still some tracks stand out, primarily "Mimic” and "Scars.” If you like your synth-pop on the tame and mellower side, Frost is best served defrosted in your living room, where you can relax and enjoy the intimacy of the lyrics — which are really, in all honesty, the highlight of this offering. (Metropolis)