Material: Inspired by his work with the mentally ill, songwriter Tyler DeVox formed wispy synth-pop duo, Forget Forget, with Patia Maule in 2012. Although compared to acts like Talking Heads, New Order and LCD Soundsystem, their ethereal, prismatic beats contain little of the pulsating danger those groups embody. Programmed synths provide the musical foundation, transforming the pair’s actual playing into a puffy, sugary frosting that lies delicately atop robotic arrangements. The result is something like ’80s new wave without the psychosexual undercurrent. Their sophomore album is expected soon.
Musicianship: Forget Forget's vision of unhinged elation arrives in the form of simple, yet effective, yawning notes that merge with electronic effluvia, constructing a musical cyborg of sorts that’s equal parts machine and human emotion. While interesting, this muffles their impact, significantly blunting the role their actual instruments should play. Neither of their vocal performances could be described as particularly strong, but this weakness is minimized via frequent harmonies.
Performance: These soft rockers from Portland, ME do little to rev up audiences. Frantic movements wouldn’t match their chilly aesthetic, but more interaction with the crowd, especially eye contact, would raise the interest of unengaged listeners.
To their credit, they introduced (though didn’t much explain) their exclusively original songs, and they mentioned their merch table (that they didn’t bother setting up). And while they clearly identified themselves and ran through the typical expressions of gratitude, the duo’s lack of branding was puzzling, considering their experience.
Summary: There’s a market for sounds that tickle the subconscious rather than elicit punches, but every composition needs to inspire something within its audience. Forget Forget’s liminal nature seriously dilutes their casual touch, an approach that doesn’t demand attention to begin with. Perhaps a live drummer would cure this ailment, but their lackadaisical demeanor, combined with the absence of any memorable hook, suggests this wouldn’t fully solve their fundamental flaw—a failure to stir the soul.
The Players: Tyler DeVox, guitar, vocals; Patia Maule, synths, vocals.