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It's not a surprise that former members of a new wave band would toughen their sound for a young mainstream audience. Unfortunately, the dismal results on Gigantic's Disenchanted aren't shocking, either. Ex-Flesh for Lulu members Nick Marsh (vocals) and Rocco Barker (drums) join the unenvied group of new wave all-stars who've attempted a rock & roll makeover and failed. Echo & the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant tried it on their Electrafixion project, and the Ocean Blue ditched their guitar shimmer on See; even the synth-laden Pseudo Echo once transformed themselves into metalheads on Race. Marsh and Barker don't embarrass themselves as much as Pseudo Echo did (not many can sink that low). Nevertheless, Disenchanted lacks the qualities of their work with Flesh for Lulu. Gone are the danceable hooks of "I Go Crazy," the uplifting melodies of "Postcards From Paradise," and the naïve romanticism of "Time and Space." There's not even a trace of Flesh for Lulu's gothic roots as well. In addition, the wit and warmth of Marsh's voice are absent. It doesn't seem like Marsh is having much fun -- just compare his wild antics on Flesh for Lulu's "Siamese Twist" to his paint-by-numbers performances here. Perhaps it's not fair to judge Disenchanted by the standards of Flesh for Lulu's finest moments; after all, aside from Marsh and Barker, Gigantic is not the same band. However, even viewed by itself, Disenchanted is still a dull record. The group wants to give grunge a Brit-pop feel, and it doesn't work. None of the songs are really catchy, although "Throw You Out My Window" has amusing lyrics. The band has energy to burn but, like a dog chasing its own tail, it goes round and round and ends up nowhere.

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