Title: Enough Fears
Genre: Dark Synth Pop
Release Date: 4th December 2020
Label: MMXX Records
SCENIUS have been very busy this year for a new project, with four singles released to introduce us all to their world. They draw inspiration from the early electro-pop outfits but pursue it in their own way. Influences listed include BRIAN ENO, JOHN FOXX, LCD SOUND SYSTEM, KRAFTWERK, NEW ORDER and DEPECHE MODE. They use vintage analogue synths and rhythm machines to make a soulful, warm, emotional overall feel to their sound whilst keeping to the catchy melody structures we all remember from that era. Their four singles are soon (at the time of writing) to be joined by fifth single ‘Make it Shiny’, released 20th November 2020.
This review, with no apology, is going to be an outburst of unadulterated worship. This band are really that good. I have to start by an admission - I found the band almost by accident, but they are now in my all-time top band list. They are truly that good - over forty years of being obsessed with music, and they are up there. It is the unexplainable quality they have unleashed on the world - their ability to not only provide an appealing ditty (like many a synth-pop duo) but to get under your skin with their music. They seem to be able to make you feel emotion from every touch of their keys and every note sang. The have an unfathomable knack of feeding sentiment, warmth, empathy, loneliness, helplessness, and a million other diverging feelings through their bodies from not only their brains - but from deep in their souls. My loudspeakers will never recover, they have been through the same rollercoaster twisty and turning ride too. Am I rambling? Probably. I really don’t want to attempt to describe their sound, their “being” - it’s just too special for a mere reviewer like myself. You need to hear it for yourself.
There are three past singles included on the new CD (all of which I have reviewed in detail in Reflections of Darkness) and a fourth current single - ‘Make it Shiny’. If I was to be critical in anyway, this would be it - I think that’s perhaps too many singles for one album. I kind of felt a little disappointed not to hear yet more unheard songs. But then I am perhaps being greedy, and a perhaps just a tad too much fan boy. All four singles included are very strong and are joined by a further seven new tracks - eight unheard tracks if you include ‘Make it Shiny’. So yes, I am being a spoilt brat having a minor tantrum. For me, with the unheard tacks, I was taken aback by ‘Some of your Nights’ with a definite nod to SPARKS, the dark chugging ‘Enough Fears’ that ambles around engrossing you in its story, and ‘Stark Relief’ - listen carefully I’m sure there is a smidgeon of TUBEWAY ARMY and their classic ‘Down in the Park’. But this is dramatically unfair on the other tracks - tomorrow I could easily have chosen different favourite tracks and enthusiastically rambled.
So, where do I go with this review to try and convince you this band are genuinely offering something so refreshing yet so familiar - mixed with such talent that feed into your very soul? Something so good you really must not miss the opportunity to hear them? I think the only way is to drop this bombshell - this is my favourite album of 2020, and there have been some fantastic releases. 2020, it has been a terrible year, but by golly I don’t care - SCENIUS have made up for it. Best Album of the year 2020 (in my household) - goes to SCENIUS - ‘Enough Fears’.
01. Make it Shiny
02. Some of your Nights
03. Wild and Wooly
04. Less than Dreams
05. Enough Fears
08. Cookie Cutter
09. Like our Bones
10. Stark Relief
11. Darkest Lines
Steve Whitfield – Keyboards, Production, Vocals, Songwriter
Fab Nau – Vocals, Keyboards, Songwriter, Production.
https://scenius.bandcamp.com / https://www.facebook.com/sceniusband
Total: 9.5 / 10