Now that a have your attention (all credit to my favorite lyric in this album), welcome! Today I’ll be reviewing an album that I instantly wanted to sink my wiener into as soon as it was sent to me.
Male Tears is a synth pop duo consisting of James Edward on vocals and synthesizer and Spencer Jackson on keyboards. The duo makes synthpop that reminds me of Culture Club and OMD mixed with the soundtrack from this SNES game I used to play as a kid called Plok. You see, Plok is this small yellow man throws his fucking limbs at enemies and travels to different islands looking for his flag. Some heartless asshole took Plok’s flag and boy is he pissed off. Well, I’m getting sidetracked here. So let me jump back into this review.
Overall, this is a solid fucking album. Each song has an early impact even though each track is compact. Songs are well structured and don’t overstay their welcome. They pummel you with catchy synth hooks, just the right amount of marimba leads and tickle you with these 80s pop vocals. Also I want to note that the drum programming here is phenomenal. A little goes a long way with drum programming. For example in the song “Let’s Pretend“, the drums are mostly a rock beat with some analog drum flair, but in the pre chorus, the back beat switches from 2 and 4 to the snare hitting on 3 which I geeked out about because it really broke up the flow of the song and kept it interesting.
“Human Errorz” is another example of a synth pop classic that breaks from the albums electro thudding and gives you this off-kittler rhythmically stunning example of what Male Tears is giving you. Some of the drum patterns here remind me of Steve Gadd’s intro to “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover“.
Did I mention hooks? Each song is layered with the classic 80’s production tropes you’d expect and does it so well in a way that none of the tracks feel too busy. You’ll come across thicc Italio-disco bass lines with gated stabby sawtooth chord progressions and glassy pads, but on top of all of that are these absolutely baller melodies that act like those old filters at the bottom of swimming pools. Instead of overwhelming you, they keep you glued to each track. Future X has a hook that only shows up only in the fade out, which I thought was dope.
If I had to pick a favorite from this album I couldn’t, so here’s two. “Creep Distance” is a winner for me. The vocals really stand out in this track and the all around groove made me keep coming back to it. Also it reminds me of that Cars song that plays in the scene in Billy Madison where the principal gives Adam Sandler the card where he says he’s horny. “Adult Film” is also a winner for me and also where the title of this review comes from. This track is so fucking catchy and it has some straight forward erotic lyrics that I’m always a fan of.
Every song on this album is worth checking out if you want retro synth jams loaded with hits and erotic themes. My only critique is that sometimes the vocals get lost in the mix with all the reverb, bit fuck it. Its still a fantastic album. I’d love to see Male Tears put a more modern twist on their next release to keep things fresh as well. This album was released on Valentines Day the cassettes are already sold out, so get some more of those available because I want one.