Cosmic Toppers

Pure Fast Vibration

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Pure Fast Vibration is essentially the project of singer/guitarist/keyboardist Morley Bartnoff, who wrote all the songs on this curious power-poppish outing. It's curious because although much of it's in the upbeat, retro-power pop vein, there are some flourishes of new-agey keyboard textures and effects. Bartnoff's melodies are acceptable and driving, but not too memorable. His singing is on a somewhat lower level, with a slight whiny/desperate quality that's a little similar to Elvis Costello, though not nearly as outstanding (or that similar, really). Probably his songs would be better served by a different singer, and he does clothe much of it in both female and male harmonies. The songs are imbued with a cautious optimism ("All Signs Point to Yes!" is one title), without much in the way of a striking viewpoint. "Revolution #9 and 1/2 Weeks" gets into extended spaced-out instrumental passages, backwards effects, suite-like movements, and the like, again without an arresting twist on the past styles that have obviously inspired this experimentation.