Fake Blood’s breakthrough single, Mars, was undoubtedly one of the best tracks of 2008. The tune was remixed more times than you could count on all of your limbs. After remaining anonymous for 12 months after his first release, he finally revealed his identity as Theo Keating – the man behind ’90s electro act DJ Touché. Keating then brought us 2009’s funky smash I Think I Like It under the Fake Blood name, which served as the only worthy follow up to Justice’s huge track, D.A.N.C.E. The man was making a habit of producing tracks capable of packing out any dance floor in the world.
Since then, Keating has remixed the work of almost every artist under the sun. Artists who have been fortunate enough to have been given the Fake Blood treatment include Little Boots, Sway, Miike Snow and many others. After dropping the odd track and playing the remixing game for some time now, Blood has finally released his long awaited debut LP, Cells.
The LP starts in cinematic fashion, with a haunting classical piano loop and layers of cascading drum fills leading up to the forceful chanting of ‘yes’ and ‘no’. This is the album’s lead single, the aptly titled Yes/No. It is a monster of a track which builds up a degree of manic energy inside you. It starts off the record perfectly.
Don’t be fooled by the club-ready synths and commercial vocals of Let It Go. After the first refrain you hear a dirty industrial bass line and a minimal kick drum pattern – Fake Blood’s usual weapons of choice. From then it turns into an unmistakable Fake Blood record with added chart potential. The unsettling crescendos of Phantom Power provide an aura of menace. End Of Days could fit in well to the soundtrack of Drive, with its Kavinsky-esque synthesisers and uncanny undertones. The funky bass licks and conspicuous sleigh bells used in Air Brush prove to be another album highlight.
The second single, All In The Blink barely sounds like a Fake Blood record. Although it is one of the rare occasions on the album in which Keating completely crosses his usual musical boundaries, it does not work successfully. The bland and tacky vocals do not do the track any favours either. Sideshow unfortunately sounds like an arcade machine suffering a malfunction. However, it is the dull saxophone honks on Another World which makes it a suitable candidate for being worst album track.
In the past, Keating has also lent his talents to several other projects; including Hip Hop group The Wiseguys and electro outfit The Black Ghosts (The Wiseguys and indie band Simian). Being his first solo record as Fake Blood, you would expect it to be a little more adventurous, given his numerous side projects. It’s a shame this LP wasn’t released back in 2008, when Mars had just come out. Four years is a long time to wait for a debut album after hearing a buzz track of that calibre. Although there are some memorable moments here, none of them come close to tracks such as Mars or The Dozens.