Genetichigh - Momentum

Owain Paciuszko 04/01/2010

Rating: 3/5

Opening track My Thoughts Directed has a slightly retro down-tempo electronic vibe to it, bringing to mind a late 20th/early 21st century for laidback, icy tunes care of bands such as Sneaker Pimps and Gus Gus. This record would probably have felt somewhat nostalgic even when it was first released in 2006. That's not to say that there's anything particularly wrong with the music on this album, it's just, especially now three years down the line, there's nothing very new here.

Over its twelve tracks the record drifts into stripped-down acoustic balladry with Scrawl, whilst Wrapped Around Me lingers into dance territory with its skittering beat and synth flourishes, over which a mournful piano intertwines around Mark Hadley's breathy vocal. On At Least, I Like The Idea there are some nice backing vocals and a scratch to the lead voice production that gives things some bite and edge, pleasingly different to the shimmer of earlier tunes. Meanwhile the brief Ted's Disco jumbles together an ethnic sounding chant alongside beat-boxing and inaudible mumbles of dialogue, sounding like a homage to One Giant Leap.

The sound of a rabble, harpsichord and threatening drums introduce Witchfinder and instill a worrying sense of a 'concept' song, Hadley's backing vocals echo a Gregorian chant. In the end it sounds like a minimal Leftfield remix of Seal's Kiss From A Rose, but is ultimately too slight to have suitable impact beyond its interesting production choices. It's also quickly dismissed as the bittersweet acoustic guitar of No Good For Me chimes in.

It never descends into cheese or feels as badly dated as a once fashionable sitcom, but there's something 'of the past' about this record from Mark Hadley's Genetichigh. What can be said is that Hadley is very talented producer and has put together a subtly varied LP with considerable skill, though his vocals/lyrics are intermittently effective. One can only hope that he's been working hard on something new in the three years since this release, as it would be interesting to see how his sound has progressed.