Forward / Return
Label: Electro Shock
Release date: November 30, 2018
By: Niklas Forsberg
I recognized Subject:2 vocalist Gary Starky from his collaborations with Robert Marlow on the Marlow project. This new duo sees him step fully into the limelight together with Sandra Tully. “Forward / Return” is jam packed with potent synthpop, sounding both old and new at the same time, yet I find myself losing them from time to time. Is it too polished or is my current minimal wave-infused brain not open to these sugary sounds anymore?
It does tend to go overboard into commercial dance sounds occasionally, like in the dreadful “Better Luck Next Time”. “Get Things Started”, on the other hand, displays bouncy, retro heavy synthpop of the highest order. Some other tracks mix these two styles, making it somewhat difficult to grasp what Subject:2 are aiming at with this album. The synthpop crowd or a full blown quest for pop domination?
“Forward / Return”, while razor sharp in production and execution, doesn’t quite grab me as much as I hoped and thought it would. Great synthpop here and there, but without that unique edge needed in today’s saturated market.