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splendid > reviews > 4/29/2003
Adult.
Adult.
Anxiety Always
Ersatz Audio


Format Reviewed: CD

Soundclip: "Shake Your Head"

Buy me now
Sometimes it's best to dwell in the shadows and just watch -- watch your enemies, your friends, those you consider loyal, and those you feel would sell you out at the word "go". Sometimes watching is the most important thing in the world. An important study in surveillance, Detroit elektro duo Adult. have been keeping tabs on the sinners and the grinners for the better part of five years, waiting for exactly the right time to rise up and make their presence known.

Consisting of cyber-vixen/graphic design maven Nicola Kuperus and Ersatz Audio head honcho Adam Le Miller, Adult. are the latest, and potentially greatest, stars to emerge from the microchip-riddled battlefield that encompasses the electroclash movement. It's taken them five years to release a long-player (2001's Resuscitation was a collection of singles and remixes) but in a rare coup, Anxiety Always is actually worth the wait. Twitchy, insistent and more kinetic than a dancefloor covered with electric eels, Anxiety Always should establish Adult. as the anti-Fischerspooner -- an '80s-inflected duo whose garish stylistic flourishes are far outweighed by their extensive resonant merits.

Less of an all-encompassing audio/video mindfuck than a chic elektro-art project, Adult. succeed where their peers fail by never leaning too far in any one direction. They warily straddle a coaxial tightrope of broken-down disco beats, Devo-ish electro-punk prickliness and Blondie-styled post-coital peakedness. Bastard elektro mutant stompers "Glue Your Eyelids Together" and "Kick in the Shin" vacillate between pulsing techno-inflected acuity and anachronistic hotwired noise, while "We Know How to Have Fun" and "People, You Can Confuse" are, at heart, squelchy noise tracks smashed to bits by disco (wrecking) balls, Kuperus's catty snarl spliced from the mains with sub-code wiring. The dangling technophobic scope of Anxiety Always is austere in the warmest of manners; it's an elektro record equally suited for strobe-spangled dancefloors or cozy mid-winters get-togethers.

Though they were spawned from what many consider a reprehensible mutant-disco breed, Adult. have nailed the humane elements of the elektro formula -- and that, above all else, is what gives Anxiety Always a pulsating pulmonary glow that's too warmly invigorating to ignore.



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