whiffs distinctly of contrived attitude and the pits of Hoxton art-bars...
Michelle Kilfoyle

19:33 26th July 2006

Yes that’s right, what a stupid name for a band. And to call your album the same? Quite foolish. Oh well, Sweden’s Revl9n (pronounced ‘Revlon nine’, apparently) are here to sex us up anyway. They attempt this with their stuttering grubby electro: all filthy beats and industrial grit. However, despite questionable lyrics like “you came to see me freakin’, you came to see me naked”, the overall effect is quite unsexy. Proponents of this sort of thing would probably claim it’s experimental art. Well, although hardly hit parade worthy, the innovation feels superficial.

It’s fitting for their Kate Moss endorsed cosmetics namesake that it’s all about the aesthetic. There’s plenty of gloss and style here, but like the best of the worst Turner Prize entries, it rings oh so hollow. The vocals, you just wanna slap: shallow, breathy shouting, on the permanent brink of explosion. Whilst riding pounding synths, they persist in grating through your ear-drums, to be delivered direct to your brain. The tunes: mostly monotonous, although one suspects producing karaoke classics is not a priority. The structures: an occasional plus-point to the Stockholm trio’s approach.

They meander, whilst chopping and changing pace and volume. This lends unpredictability to the otherwise pedestrian output. But with no function other than for its own sake, it can also jar needlessly. The messy formula is refined on disco-rockers ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Walking Machine’, which successfully incorporate hooks to produce some deft icy-cool pop. Fleeting moments like the catchy, cyclical intro to ‘Dead Town’ speak of unexploited potential and dancefloor rapture. Overall however, it’s somewhat unremarkable. Soulless, so desperate to be ‘cool’, it whiffs distinctly of contrived attitude and the pits of Hoxton art-bars.

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