Interesting four-song e.p. from Boston synth-duo Adventure Set, who are comprised of singer Ken Scales and multi-instrumentalist Mark Pothier.  For this mini-album, they’re aided and abetted by producer Stephen George, who also provided additional keyboards and programming.  I’ve listened to some neo synth-pop releases in the last few months and this one, like the others, has a freshness about it – something the original synth heyday of the ’80’s lacked.  I know I often use the word “crisp” when I speak of production, but this has it – an openness and a warmth – again, something synth-pop previously was void of.  Ken Scales has a fine voice and the melodies and hooks supplied by Mark Pothier are plentiful.

“Paper Cut” is a dance-able number with some nice arrangements and vocals; at moments, it reminds me of Heaven 17’s best mixed with Numan’s poppier-moments.  The interesting moment is (what I would envision as a 12″ single) their version of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” (not sounding like Killing Joke here); it’s the second time in a few months that someone has covered Nirvana with synths, but this makes a song I had previously not cared for far more enjoyable by this re-imagining.  “Cellophane” is very O.M.D.-flavored; again, pleasant, light and brings me back to another time.

Four songs – a fine introduction.  I think I’ll be keeping my eyes and ears open for more from Adventure Set.  Some things from the ’80’s were best left behind, but this is a good reminder of how synth-pop could be, when done right.






About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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