99 Pounds Fade
Reviewed by Marc Savlov, Fri., April 14, 2000
FadeComplaints have been heard in the past regarding Austin's sullen lack of any sort of proper electronica groups that aren't simply a DJ and his/her Technics. For a city as musically diverse as this, you'd expect a few more actual bands incorporating fluid programming alongside guitars, instead of one or the other. Thankfully, 99 Pounds fill the bill with a sound that's part Massive Attack and part One Dove, though with a distinctly gloomy atmosphere. Fronted by the ethereal Lisa Loomis, 99 Pounds mix smoky chanteuse pop with grim, plodding anti-pop that sounds as if it could just as easily have circumnavigated the Big Blue via a 4AD frigate out of Bristol. That said, there's nothing amongst Fade's six tracks that really reaches out and grabs you by the scruff of the neck; plodding is the key word here, and some of these songs, minus the vox, wouldn't feel too out of place on a latter-day Nurse With Wound EP. Only the chilly throb of "She" comes close to creating any sort of aural gridlock; with ominous bass pronouncements and anxious vocals, it sounds like the theme music from a Bond film from hell, (in)complete with backlit nudes descending a corpse. Grimpop? Gothtronica? Subgenres are all the rage, so pick one and allow 99 Pounds to fuel that sad, bad heart of yours.