The debut offering from Fixers focuses on laptop-based musical creation in the realms of psychedelic pop, post-pop and electronic dance. Full of lively, upbeat tunes, We’ll Be the Moon offers vibrant pop ideal for summer, without much cloying, saccharine aftertaste. Most tracks on the album have a spaced out, hazy and mellow vibe not dissimilar to Darwin Deez – indeed, one could easily see key tracks from We’ll Be the Moon providing musical backing to adverts for New Look et al., with images of sun-drenched, tanned beauties, melting ice lollies, sprinklers and swimming pools providing a perfect visual accompaniment to Fixers’ music.
Fixers’ sound is fairly close to Oxford contemporaries such as a Foals and Blessing Force, but the group also have clear similarly with the likes of Animal Collective and MGMT. Instrumentation therefore is as you might expect, typically over saturated with samples and synthesizers alongside the traditional guitar-bass-drums set-up. Like their contemporaries, the Fixers’ sound is also well produced, with good musicianship, alongside an array of panning and effects techniques.
This is a diverse album instrumentally, but synth does effectively rule Fixers’ sound. Unfortunately, at times many of these synth timbres are very laboured, and far too retrogressive. The tracks Alexandra and Swimmhaus Johannesberg are particularly guilty of this, at times sounding weirdly like Hurts (doing Pet Shop Boys doing Tears For Fears). There are better tracks available for the listener, however. Iron Deer Dream, the album’s lead single has a degree of conviction and presence with more noteworthy instrumentation and very catchy vocal harmonies. Unfortunately however, this track is probably the only item on We’ll Be the Moon that shows genuine brilliance and commercial viability.
I expected to like this album a great deal – the group’s collective influences and contemporaries should equal an interesting album full of vibrant and exciting music. Regrettably however, We’ll Be the Moon left me a bit cold. Perhaps this reaction amounts to a degree of jadedness on my part – I have after all enjoyed previous artist’s forays into the enchanting realm that is psyche inspired post-pop. It must be said though that the curiosity of the genre – the intelligence, capability and creativity that radiated from music past is perhaps now becoming so typical that it no longer seems dazzling or impressive. In this context my negative reaction to We’ll Be the Moon makes perfect sense – what was interesting and dynamic in 2009 will not necessarily remain so three years later.
There in lies the only major problem with this album, and indeed it is a critic’s problem: We’ll Be the Moon is of a genre that was once very compelling, but is now becoming stagnant. This album is certainly pleasant to listen to, but it makes no attempts to move the direction of the genre forward, or add anything of further merit. It is ultimately an alt/indie/pop album that is going through the motions, albeit in a way that is outwardly fairly enjoyable.