The Present Moment is the brainchild of Scott Milton, a busy man whose other bands are Catalog and Moodorgan. He’s helped along the way by Philipp Munch of The Rorschach Garden. Loyal To A Fault is Milton’s second release and it’s riding on a coldwave…erm, wave, one that assorted other artists seem keen on exploring currently.
Loyal To A Fault mines the early ’80s for its sound, and it shows promise right from the beginning. The Start (Echo Mix) is a steady opener replete with repetitive layers. The more that’s added, the more power the track has. The grandiose Rejection follows, with a furiously energetic bassline and a mystic and slightly haunting synth melody.
Beyond this impressive one-two, other highlights make themselves known, particularly in the middle section. A New Day’s pulsing bass works well against a highwire synth line that’s fairly minimal but, combined with the yearning vocals, adds a lot. Intrigue is a strangely intimidating number, especially when it starts to escalate towards the end when the rhythm starts becoming a little less strict, and the title track is probably the closest the LP gets to steering itself away from its bleak dynamics and into poppier territory. However, it’s balanced out by the vocals which, again, play as second fiddle to the music.
There are one or two dud moments near the end. Careful What You Wish For is where the momentum is lost, and it becomes a little grating. Precision, the closer, is an instrumental that also doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere in particular.
Yet overall it’s solid stuff. But it falls into the category of records in which you can find much to admire but find difficult to love. Lyrically it doesn’t really offer anything new and, whilst it all sounds very true to the genre’s roots, it lacks the spark of adventurousness that would mark it out as something that goes beyond pastiche.
So, Loyal To A Fault is a good record but an inessential one. Still, of all the artists that have decided to reignite this type of music, this is one of the better attempts so far.