Archive review originally posted on the losing today site c.2002 ……
DIARY OF AN ANTIBODY
I’ll be strictly honest here and own up to not really liking this the first time I heard, but you know, like moss it sort of envelopes you. ‘Diary of an antibody’ is follow up to the bands debut from a few years back ‘On Earth to make up the numbers’.
Since that time, the band have been pared down to size by the departure of Alex Sharkey and witnessed the fashion interest in all things remotely showing signs of flamboyant electronics whether it be to do with sartorial associations or musical qualities. This in mind Fosca should work, and their wimsical (and that is not meant to be derogative or patronising) mix of indie electronics and personalised exorcicism should work fine.
I can’t run comparisons with their debut album as I haven’t had the fortune to hear it, however ‘Diary of an Antibody’ can at times come across as fickle. It’s darkened by the personalised lyrical journals of lead singer Dickon Edwards, himself looking like a throwback, looks wise to the androgynous style of Japan, most of the content, a bearing of inner fears and demons on one hand and kitchen sink dramatics on the other. Not as scathing as Morriseys bitter, but all to clever, put downs, not quite as witty as Jarvis Cockers voyeuristic observations, yet aligning close to early Soft Cell Marc Almond.
Melody wise Fosca usher in a strangely intoxicating mix of fluffy indie pop via late 80’s Sarah bands such as Heavenly and Field Mice, merging guitars with electronics and underlaying it with eurodisco edges. Beneath all the brightly tingled harmonies lie cynacism at all points, this isn’t your run of the mill boy meets girl pop, instead a warts n’ all script for existence.
Vocal wise Edwards relays the same kind of dead pan delivery as Richard Butler, David Gedge and Phil Oakey, which works well adding to the detached feel throughout, especially on ‘I’m on your side’ which with the accompanying female harmonies really has a feel of the Human League, and is certainly one of the albums most directly acessible tracks. Opening with ‘Secret crush on the third trombone’ the band utilise football terrace anthems, maybe that’s not really suprising as it vaguely whiffs of the Lightning Seeds media friendly ‘Three Lions’, while the stutter fire vocals of the charming ‘Idiot Savant’ recalls Sparks in all their 70’s pop supremacy via ‘This town ain’t big enough’.
My particular favourite has to be the swirling scattyness of ‘Letter to Saint Christopher’, the constantly pushing rhythms and grooves moulded against some seriously Studio 54 era guitar work make for quality dance floor fervour. At 33 minutes in length, maybe that’s the only real complaint, yet lets face quality counts over quality don’t you agree?