This is a review of "Untitled" recorded by Rochelle. The review was written by Alexander Rennie in 2007.
Unfortunately for the discerning popster, this CD would not appear - like many a K-Tel offering of yesteryear - to be available in any shops. Unlike those cheese-athons, however, this disc's absence from the shelves of your local HMV is something about which you should be genuinely disappointed.
The merits of Rochelle's live act have been expounded elsewhere on LMS, but there is much more to this band than a bubbly frontwoman. They may have been 'heavily influenced by dance music' (not my words, but theirs), but whoever put these tunes together is - for the most part - no casual Casio hacker. The tracks on this disc betray a reasonable breadth of electronic craftsmanship.
'Party Girls' is probably the stand-out track, pitting Nathan's keyboards against Lydia's vocals with extremely danceable consequences. The beat is sparse and repetitive in the verse, but builds into an infectious electronic chorus that smacks of an early Numan being prodded into more hyperactive realms. It also features the odd bit of pitch distortion and apposite use of cowbell; always a boon.
'Born from the Sun' is probably the weak link of these tracks. It could easily be one of those forgotten cuts from any late-80s 'Now...' album where the compilers subsequently kicked themselves for pre-emptively handing over a slice of royalties for a generic new release that immediately failed to set the world alight (and certainly never went on to trouble Bruno Brookes and his famous chart run down.) In short, it is forgettable.
'Covergirl' is a return to the 'Party Girls' vein, and shows an impressive grasp of more sparse keyboard stylings. Imagine, if you will, that the stony-faced teutons of Kraftwerk have been dragged down to the strip club and have subsequently written up their disapproval in song form - but with one of the brazen harlots taking over vocal duties. Shall we say that it's a slightly less catchy 'Model' for the new millennium?
Final track 'Sweep' doesn't appear to be about glove puppets, but it's a tuneful enough end to this first recorded foray for Rochelle. There is more than enough evidence on this disc to suggest that we'll be hearing further from them in future. It's not perfect, but once these guys get past the demo stage and put a proper full-production release amongst us then it should most certainly be something to make you part with your cash.