Here we go again. It's 2006 and we are still are being introduced to Joy Division and Heaven 17 via some indie band that loves electro-keyboard sounds and deep beguiling, baritone vocals. I was originally attracted to The Presets because they're touring with Ladytron and figured "Hey, Ladytron are good and have great musical taste, therefore, The Presets are going to sound grrrrreat". Maybe they bring the house down live, who knows? But on this record it sounds laughable. Musically the sounds are familiar. The keyboards and beats get cut-up, minimized, and are sometimes harsh. But we've heard this before with bands like The Prodigy and Marilyn Manson. This needs to stop.
'Are you the One' is pretty embarrassing with it's "I can sing even deeper than Paul Banks and Ian Curtis in a submarine" vocal delivery. They might as well try to go the Dead or Alive route and add some romanticism to the song, it would at least spark some interest. 'Kitty in the Middle' should offend all feline lovers and owners everywhere. Every word at the end of the sentence is emphasized by the word "oh", horrible and not sexy. It only gets worse with the DEVO meets The Prodigy drum 'n bass take on 'Girl (You Chew my Mind Up)'. It's a crime that someone in the studio didn't protest at this point.
On 'Girl and the Sea' There's a moment of clarity as the band realizes they don't have to try too hard to sound good. The vocal delivery sounds steady and refreshing, completely opposite from the rest of the album. They could've built an entire album with this direction and use of electronic restraint.
Bands cannot continue to xerox the Joy Division blueprint anymore, it's old and sounds so fucking lame. There is too much originality and blending of genres out there that one needs to stand out in an original and heartfelt way, and that's what we all cling to musically. Let's hope they can re-group and try again on the next record.