‘Hour Fortress’ opens Light Asylum’s eponymous LP with a serving of bolt-together electropop, a sub-‘Blue Monday’ feel and theatrically deep vocals from the duo’s intriguing singer Shannon Funchess. And it’s her actor-ly range of vocal styles that distinguishes this pair from any run-of-the-mill synth twosome. The lip-curling punk snarl employed on ‘Pope Will Roll’ could very easily, in the wrong hands, sound just plain silly, but here it spikes your interest.

On the beautiful ‘Shallow Tears’, Funchess then sounds like Tina Turner aping Editors’ Tom Smith, while in ‘Sins Of The Flesh’ her voice drips with pain and is then antagonistic and seedy. And yet it’s this heavy reliance on the power of the vocals that exposes Light Asylum’s musical shortfalls, set as they are to anonymous synth cuts, dispassionately booked out from the bog-standard electropop library.

By Chris Watkeys

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