• Adorable
  • Against Perfection (Creation/SBK) 1993 
  • Sistine Chapel Ceiling EP (UK Creation) 1993 
  • Fake (UK Creation) 1994 

Although hailed by the British press for a pair of gloriously heavy first singles — “Sunshine Smile” and “I’ll Be Your Saint” — this talented foursome from Coventry regrettably shot themselves in the media foot. In subsequent interviews, singer/guitarist Piotr Fijalkowski and bassist Wil (just Wil) snidely, stridently insisted that every other band of the time was crap and that young Adorable was a dead cert for immortality. That sealed their fate with an appalled music establishment and obscured the actual qualities of two extremely worthy albums of resplendent whomp-rock with jagged edges that are best described as post-Echo and the Bunnymen/early House of Love. In America, Adorable was foiled by a more traditional nemesis: being licensed to an indifferent US company.

Against Perfection is very nearly a greatest hits collection — in fact, it yielded no fewer than three UK singles in addition to “Sunshine Smile” and “I’ll Be Your Saint” — with sharp, varied songs that are by turns pretty, soaring and brooding. Fijalkowski’s intentionally dramatic, full voice mixes Ian McCulloch with harsher tones, at times spitting out distaste and rancor, elsewhere all but shouting or coolly basking in the drenched melodies. The album’s highlights include two of its singles: the dance-beat “Sistine Chapel Ceiling” and the neo-punk crashing of “Favorite Fallen Idol.” Very strong.

Although unissued in America, Fake meets the sophomore challenge with surprising grace and ease. A more coherent, ambitious album that flows far better than its predecessor, it possesses twice the bite, more interesting guitar passages and an underlying obstinacy that fuels the immaculately built tunes. “Vendetta” is especially searing, mixing a furious New Order-style dance groove with heavy, ringing, darting guitars and a surprisingly vulnerable vocal. In the same lyrical vein, Fijalkowski takes clever aim at the antagonistic British press in “Kangaroo Court” (“I know I’m losing my appeal/Because I was hung, drawn and quartered before my trial/Without the privilege of denial”) as if he knows the end is near. Sadly, it in fact was. The bitter band capitulated, stunning a Brussels audience in November 1994 by announcing it as their farewell performance. When last heard of, the disillusioned singer was working in his home studio, dabbling with, of all things, Pet Shop Boys-style facile pop.

[Jack Rabid]