The Fair Sex

[TFS sleeve]"TFS" (Album, 2002)

Endless Records

The Fair Sex, one of Germany's key underground electronics+guitars bands of the late 80s and early 90s returned with this their seventh album of new material after almost seven years. After the release of Labyrinth in 1995, the band members went their own ways, pursuing individual projects, but a well-received reunion performance at the legendary Wave Gothic Treffen festival in 2001 prompted the band to reform. After the MCD Lost Traces of The Far Side released in May 2002, TFS followed in August the same year.

Although originally tagged with the EBM label, there's stylistic variation aplenty on TFS, ranging from the grungy, dark gothic rock of the rather nattily-entitled Cold Heat Enclosed in Stone, through to the synth melody-driven, bubbling sequencers and growling guitar-backed trance of The Far Side. Get Out of My Head is very much in the traditional TFS idiom and (as a single prior to the album release) is likely to be a song that many who, even though they can't readily identify the band, will recognise from years of DJ exposure.

Sun Mistress is a distinctive, cinematic blend of slow-spoken lyrics (all on the album are sung in English), grumbling electronics and haunting deep choral voices. An atypically mellow remix called Lost Trace by fellow countrymen Das Ich is included, whilst Failed Desaster (sic) seemingly laid the path for Rotersand's Merging Oceans EP a year later on the same label. The Fair Sex, like many of their homeland contemporaries, confidently straddle genres with aplomb and the collective results, like here on TFS, are frequently worth wider recognition than they tend to get. 7/10

Rob Dyer (May 2009)

See also:
The Invincible Spirit
Girls Under Glass