The duo behind Procedure Club (Adam Malec [music] and Andrea [vocals/words]) seem to have built their sound around the cruddiest drum machines, clammiest reverb, and cheapest equipment they could find. Add vocals that sound like they were piped in using a tin can telephone and a final mix that was apparently done by someone with severe hearing loss, and you’ve got a record that could have either been a complete disaster or a work of genius. Or, in the case of the group’s debut full-length for Slumberland, Doomed Forever, a qualified success. Most of the songs are good enough that it doesn’t matter how caked in murk they are. The opening “Feel Sorry for Me,” with its wobbly, out-of-phase vocals is a good example. Andrea’s sweetly sung words and the song's pretty melody are given extra drama and punch when they are scuffed up and plastered with weirdness. “Confined” is another example. Without all the guitar scuzz and vocal effects, the tune would have been just a pleasant Beat Happening-style love rock jam; with all the noise, it sounds like something much more important and emotional. The duo has the good sense to keep the tricks to a minimum when the song doesn’t need them, like on the storming Shop Assistants-inspired rockers “Vermont” and “Artificial Light.” Unfortunately, there are scattered moments on the album when the sonic mess is too much to handle, times when the songs aren’t strong enough to climb out of the ooze and establish themselves, or are let down by flat vocals and uneven production. It happens enough that you start to wonder if the band would have been better served by cutting the album down to an EP and spending more time developing their sound. As it stands, Doomed Forever ends up as a nice introduction to a band that has good ideas and good songs, but needs a little more work if they want to reach the level of their influences.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra