It might look like Russell Lisack is killing time with his new side project while front man Kele Okereke puts Bloc Party on hold to pursue solo ambitions, but this little duet was formed long before Kele's sudden craving for star billing. Apparently Russell Lissack and Milena Mepris met in a club when Mepris' band Black Moustache supported Bloc Party in New York. Pro tools and a few emails later and this strange little partnership was born.
There is an obvious shared love for 80s pop on this album and it shows more on The Boy Who Cried Wolf than any other track. Opening with Baba O'Reilly guitars, it eventually manifests itself into a Cyndi Lauper style anthem equipped with mandatory synths good measure.
Pretty in Pink begins with the exact same guitar part as Bloc Party's Eating Glass, a tinkering and teasing style that gives the track an eerie back drop. But it's opener Cryptic which has been around since 2008 that provides an early highlight. An irresistible dance floor filler, it has Lissacks trademark guitar hallmarks all over it. As choppy as it is angular, don't be surprised if it's stuck in your head for the next day or two.
The album takes a turn for the worst in its second half, this is partly due to Milena Mepris' voice starting to grate but also due to a decrease in the quality of songs. Tracks such as Meet the Selkirk's with its jangling guitars and Everything Is Sacred, lack the melodies of Cryptic and Treasure Hunter. It all begins to feel like an 80s step too far, resulting in a sound that's closer to Roxette than it is Blondie. Still, there are moments of brilliance on this album, some of the tracks that aim to be ironic dance floor fillers achieve their aim with ease, it's just a shame that this appears to be the albums only sound.