Friday, August 21, 2009

FDF Volume 2: Issue 155 - Adorable - Against Perfection.

By: March

Album - Adorable
Artist - Against Perfection
Key Players Pete Fijalkowski - vocals and guitar. Robert Dillam - guitar. Wil - bass. Kevin Gritton - drums.
Produced By - Pat Collier

Release Date - May 4, 1993

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- I never bought this record when if was first out, then I went looking for it and it was pretty hard to find for a reasonable price. That being said, for a record I looked so hard for I am surprised I don't spin it as often as I could/should now that I do in fact have a copy.

- Part of the the "shoegaze" movement of the early 1990's (a genre the band didn't care to be classified under) UK band Adorable released a single that was wildly popular in their native country. The single (Sunshine Smile) would be re-recorded for the bands debut. The band would have moderate success, but would find a backlash from the UK Press and they'd reportedly never been interviewed by the mainstream press. They'd tour, release a second record, but by 1994 it was all over.

FDF Comments (aka the songs)
- The chime..oh the glorious chime of the guitars open up "Sunshine Smile" as the bass comes in. Fijalkowski starts to sing, and is laid back but it fits perfect with the wall of guitars. Gritton slams down on the drums and the band fuzzes it out big time. After the chorus the guitar lead goes over as the bass and second guitar sludge underneath. Gritton rides the ride cymbal a lot before the bass and drums cool things down for a brief reprise. It fires all back in for another great run, and leaves the listener satisfied. As the track begins to reach the conclusion the band really takes off, speeding up in guitar, bass and drums and it all comes down with a big chord and some delay. The perfect track to start off the record. "Glorious" begins with a quieter buzzing guitar and some ambiance with a few bass notes played but 30 seconds in the bass gets punchy and the guitars come in. Once the second guitar comes in the sound gets even more full (to be expected I realize) but it angelic. Wil gets to show off his chops on bass, even with a simple, but driving bass line. He plays well off Gritton and Dillam and Fijalkowski really shine in the dual guitar mode. They sort of do a rinse lather repeat sorta thing, but its another stellar track and your ears almost hurt from the guitars regardless the volume of your speakers. A crunchier guitar, almost punk feel to the drums fires off "Favorite Fallen Idol". As the vocals start the guitars fade but the bass and drums chug along. This is the fastest track so far on the disc. The guitars have far more bite than the prior two songs, but they still find ways to drop in long fuzzy drones. "A to Fade In" returns to form of the earlier tracks with the single guitar and the rest of the band slowly fading up along with it. Gritton works the ride cymbal once more before the vocals begin. Musically it is less urgent as anything up to this point, showing perhaps the "softer side" of the band, but the guitar has a certain bite you can't shake. Sure enough the band fires off at the chorus with the wall of guitars. This happens again on the track, but the guitar solo portion is extended and its flashed again as the song begins to reach the end. Counting off the 4 beats on the drums "I know you Too Well" begins with a lone guitar and bass before the second guitar again tosses short bursts of notes over it all. Wil is showcased on the bass once more, with a lot of play off Gritton and the two keep the song really focused. Come the chorus it gets a sort of odd time signature, but on the vocals only, before it resumes the hook of the verse. The later guitar hook is great and will get you to scan back on the cd player to hear it once more. The bass slugs along at the intro to "Homeboy" with the rolling drums for a few bars before the vocals begin. The first few lines of the verse are just bass, drums and vocals. When the guitar does come in, it is either one using what seems like an ebow then a few big riffs before the chorus where it all gets more rousing. As to be expected we settle back into the bass/drum roll for the verse and get big again at the chorus and a great dual guitar burst after the second chorus. Fijalkowski really belts it out towards the end and the band feeds from the fury to close out the song. The song that go me to pay attention to the band in the first place, "Sistine Chapel Ceiling" fills your ears with a chorused bass and squeaky guitar before the wah wah pedals get going. The bass and drums lock into the groove and the whaka whaka of the guitar runs the verse(s). The band breaks towards the chorus with big chords before rolling back into the steady bass/guitar groove. By the end of the second verse the guitars get the work out with a big wall of sound. One goes high while the second sits on the wah-wah line but the bass swoops as Fijalkowski goes crazy vocally before they rip it back around to the guitar loop, run the chorus and finish up. Hands down the "song' of the record for me. "Cut #2" starts with the lone guitar before the heavily chorused bass joins in. The drums clip off slowly as the two guitars mingle and the vocals begin. The guitars rotate from buzzy and crunchy to very melodic with that trademark long 'chime' to them. A compressed lone guitar starts off "Crash Sight" and the bass and drums trickle in. The song is another uptempo affair both lyrically and musically, the band really moves on this one. "Still Life" is the opposite with a much more laid back guitar and vocal presence. There are minimal drums (if any) and it mostly just voice and guitar (albeit electric guitar). Returning to the buzzy and swirling guitar on "Breahtless" the band doesn't go too crazy. The music would give you the sense this song could erupt at any point but it never seems to go to that next level. The guitar gets really buzzy at the outro, so that is a sweet spot. The album concludes with "I'll Be Your Saint" another track with a strong bass intro. Its simple, but punchy as the guitars come in and then the drums. The song is a good example of the bands sound, but doesn't have a blistering outro to close off the record like the opener did.

Where are they now? - The band broke up after two records, and did so on stage in 1994. The issue is reported to be both internal issues and issues with the label. Pete Fijalkowski is still writing and performing music. Kevin Gritton is now teaching math and Wil is teaching English to kids in Vietnam (at least what I could find). Robert is in the band "The Zephyrs".

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take
- For a band that only lasted these two records, if you are fan of the genre, you need to track them down. For what might feel like a light and airy rock band they can really bring it down at times with the wall of guitar sound. They influenced many bands inside the genere and out. Not the easiest to find, but worth your time, you should be let down if you like the samples you find below.

The band has an official myspace right here. This is Pete's myspace.
This site here helped with many things regarding this post. Oh, and here is Roberts band official site.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the mp3's have been taken down.
Sunshine Smile
I know you too Well

This record is out of print. You can search ebay, or pay some pretty hefty prices on amazon. Just look here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your downloads are screwey, they are a helmet song, JSYK. Thanks for all the great music and information. I stop by every week.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

That is odd..a helmet song? I'll have to do some checking. Thanks for the heads up.

At 1:50 PM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

the mp3's should be fixed...

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Jason Paris said...

Adorable are really a bit post-shoegaze and their music doesn't have the leisurely beat of other shoegazers, but there are definitely some similarities.

Adorable were also heralded (by the UK Press) as part of the new glam scene and were actually compared to Suede quite a bit initially.


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