Fotocrime’s fourth album and their first for new label home, Artoffact Records, Accelerated finds the band leaping forward from their signature darkwave-leaning post-punk into new territory. The album includes electronic rock anthems (“Accelerated”, “Match Factory Girl”), soulful sophisti-pop (“I Still Need You Here”), minimal synth punk (“Pulsar 99”), hints of Italo Disco (“Servant Of Your Soul”), and dreamy art rock (“Night Must Fall”). Backed by a small army of vintage drum machines, Fotocrime’s instrumentation on the album includes 12-string guitars, bass VI, saxophone, accordion, marimba, piano, and an array of classic analog synthesizers (no software synths were used on this or any Fotocrime recording).
Fotocrime is led by founding member Ryan Patterson, the band’s singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. On Accelerated, Patterson’s songwriting has progressed dramatically and his rich baritone voice is front and center, taking the listener through the album’s themes of yearning, love, loss, and redemption. Patterson’s lyrics address the regret and grief of a family member lost to a drug overdose, the impassioned ache for the comfort of love, and the existential weight of the finite nature of life. Accelerated also includes lyrical narratives tackling concepts of class warfare, dreams of escaping into space, and buried secrets from the folly of youth.
For the first time in Fotocrime’s catalog, Accelerated is a full-band endeavor with Nick Thieneman and Will Allard joining Patterson on every song. Guitarist Thieneman has been a Fotocrime member since their first live performances and has appeared on tracks on past releases, but on Accelerated his catchy guitar hooks and textures permeate every song. Thieneman also sings backing vocals throughout the album and shares co-lead vocals with Patterson on album closer “Night Must Fall”. Bassist and multi-instrumentalist Will Allard anchors the album with his Motown-inspired bass lines, while also playing piano, synth, guitar, and singing backing vocals.