Client Liaison, the Melbourne based duo of Harvey Miller and Monte Morgan, are champions of late “80s / early “90s synth pop. Whilst their bio states a mantra of corporate excess: â€œPut it on the company card. Too much is never enough. Think nothing. Feel everything. Pleasure is good. Fantasy is truth. ExperienceÂ Client Liaisonâ€, someone is clearly putting in the overtime back at the office. The schoolyard friends have garnered a loyal fan base – dare I say clientele -with solid gigging and touring, scoring JJJ unearthed gigs, TV appearances and by attracting interest in both independent and mainstream press.
Client Liaison absolutely nail their chosen aesthetic visually – check out their videos – and sonically on their self-titled debut EP. The six track release is chock full of soft synths, padded out piano and occasional guitar riffs that would be at home on an episode of Magnum PI (yes, I know Magnum was more of an “80s thing).
Customer satisfaction? Well, it’s a mixed bag here. “Feed the Rhythm’ channels Black Box-ish clubby house, complete with prerequisite piano riffs. The vocals are hooky and the white boy rap and saxophone outro are nice “period correct’s features. It’s very well-crafted pop and easily the strongest piece on the EP. The final track, “Pretty Lovers’, takes on a “Get Into The Groove’ vibe with its sticky bass, electro back beat and poly synth stabs.Â The melody develops and, like “Feed the Rhythm’, reveals a sophisticated pop sensibility.
At the other end of the spectrum is “End of the Earth’, a sardonic slice of Australiana with references from asbestos to cane toads. The video has become something of a cult hit, but the song itself flatly plods along.
I can’ tell if the ballad “Feeling’ is a cynical parody or sincere homage to Stock, Aitken and Waterman but either way it’s an unrelenting cheese fest.
It’s a shame this EP is so inconsistent – even Miller oddly admitted that the release served to â€œclear the slateâ€ of old material – as Client Liaison clearly has the potential to dominate a market they seem to have cornered.