Twisted melancholy at it's best
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't like "random" noise, keep away from this album. Fad Gadget is eccentric to the Nth degree, going so far as to TAR AND FEATHER himself for the cover art.Some may know the song COLLAPSING NEW PEOPLE from dance clubs, but there are far more interesting songs, some being: IDEAL WORLD, JUMP and AD NAUSEAM.IDEAL WORLD makes fun of the idea of living in a world where the sun never shines, and "no stress, no death, and when you fall, you wake and feel no pain." INDEED an ideal world! :) The opening guitars are WHINY, and the drums and a nice militaristic beat to it. FAD GADGET's vocals take over with a vengance.Cans rattling and drums are the opening for JUMP, a rather humor look at why people condem themselves to a life of misery, all for the sake of "a better way of life." His vocal timing, for the chorus, is VERY interesting. There are zero guitars as far as I could hear, but plenty of GRATEY keyboards to make up for it.AD NAUSEAM is latin for "to sickness and beyond." It reminds me of a very dark classical piece, with a double bass rumbling out the beginning of a tragic play, where the main person keeps pointing out his flaws, that will leave a bad taste in your mouth. And it sounds as if the KNIFE STABBING sound from the movie PSYCHO is part of the backround sound texture, which only adds tot eh discomfort, and uneasy feel the song portrays.Each song is another mini-story. And each story from a different perspective, with varrying degrees of emotional intensity. From the rather bizarrely upbeat of ONE MAN'S MEAT, to the dour AD NAUSEAM, it's nearly a test of character listening to it more than 5 times in a row. :)It's amazing how music from 1979 to 1984 was re-released in 1991, and AGAIN in 1994... :)1979 - FIRESIDE FAVOURITES 1981 - INCONTINENT 1983 - UNDER THE FLAG 1984 - GAGNow FAD GADGET goes by his given name, FRANK TOVEY, and is, THANKFULLY, still making music to this day. :)"
His strongest and best album.
Dave Eaton | 01/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fad Gadget (Frank Tovey) is at his artistic peak with this collection of richly textured lively but dark-toned songs. "Ad Nauseum" is my favorite with its nagging dissonant riff and perfect-tone words delivered in tight rhythm. Other records by him are OK, but this is clearly the strongest. This is the closest any band has come to the sound of Wall Of Voodoo's "Seven Days in Sammystown". But, as another reviewer said, this has somewhat experimental musical portions that could be considered eccentric or eclectic and non Top-40 indeed. All songs are good. Definitely in the Top 50 records of New Wave but not thin synth-pop in the least."
The darker side of synth pop
Poor Napoleon | TX United States | 04/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The listener knows he or she is in for a surprise after seeing singer Frank Tovey covered in feathers on the front cover. It says something about insanity and madness, yet Tovey stands there with his arms up, embracing it all.And he does embrace everything on Gag with a wit and humor all his own. The opening track Ideal World is a great synth romp with its loud roar of synthesizers and politically charged vocals. "The sun never shines in an Ideal World" is just a taste of Tovey's cynical verbatim that intrudes in nearly all of Gag's tracks.Highlights include Ideal World, Collapsing New People, Jump, and the infectious Ad Nauseum, the album's finale, delivering a series of sick, twisted synthesized arrangements (recognizeable in many modern industrial recordings) mixed with Tovey's sardonic commentary about society, aptly summed up by one of Tovey's best lines on the album: "I choke on the gag, but I don't get the joke."This one's worth it, not only for Tovey's true talent, a mixture of social illness and true ingenuity, but also for the influence this album and Fad Gadget's other works have had on other artists."