London trio Flash Fiktion have declared in interviews that their music is meant to function as a form of escapism from dreary everyday routine; it’s a decidedly ’80s-derived, New Romantic-like artistic philosophy, if not a totally original one, and this valiant debut album finds the band palpably striving to create something special, with variable results. Their forte is a strain of quirky, self-conscious indie art-rock leavened with twitchy electronica and spasmodically robust tribal drumming, and if that sounds like a band trying to cover too many bases, it probably is. Nevertheless, when it works, Flash Fiktion have an endearing freshness and enthusiasm that transcends inevitable cynicism about yet another genre-straddling hipster group: The single “Me and Mr E” recalls the better moments of The Bravery, whom they have supported on tour, while the spindly rhythms of “Metamorphosise” and “Artificial Colours” recall long-forgotten but underrated 1990s U.K. white-boy funksters New Fast Automatic Daffodils. It’s a flawed but spirited debut, yet you suspect that Flash Fiktion’s greatest moments await them.
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