Fast Computers – Heart Geometry

Fast Computers
Heart Geometry

Heart Geometry, the new release from the band Fast Computers, strikes me the way Postal Service records do. I’m sure they’re fine, some people will really like them, and the band probably enjoyed putting them together. Ultimately, though, they don’t do enough to make themselves really memorable.

Fast Computers relies quite a bit on its synths, and so a few of the songs sound a bit dated – but not always in a bad way. The Supertramp keyboard tones of “How Many Times” combine with a Beatles choral approach and give the song an uplifting sway. A few of the songs put their Casio beats right up front (“Sweden Hasn’t Changed, You Have”), sometimes to be augmented by real drums but sometimes not (“Gravity/Love”). I recognized the Casio beat on “Invisibility” because when I was a kid I had a keyboard that played that exact beat.

Heart Geometry isn’t quite the second coming of Human League, but it does track in that direction. Fast Computers are co-ed, just like Human League. The bands share the same cold-but-human vibe. Human League, though, made songs whose hooks have lasted decades. Fast Computers hasn’t quite discovered the hooks needed to make these 11 songs stick with you when the CD is done.

The slower numbers, such as “The Heart of the City,” best illustrate the disconnect that I have with albums like this. I think it all boils down to how well the listener can engage with romantic, lost-soul lyrics backed by the dramatic keyboards that swell at just the right points. It feels formulaic even if the sentiments are real just because we hear this kind of thing so much.

Without obvious hooks, this isn’t quite a pop record. It’s more of an emo record set to keyboards and strings. There’s nothing exceptional to set it apart from the pack, though, and its even temper and its mild-mannered approach work against it. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.