"How does it feel? / The way I feel / Doesn't feel quite real"

With lyrics like those (not to mention a name like theirs and a debut album titled  Against Perfection, a perfect encapsulation of melancholic Gen X irony), why Adorable posters aren't plastered on dorm walls and their songs on all high school first-love and breakup mixtapes out there is... baffling. 

Formed in Coventry, England, and fronted by Piotr Fijalkowski, the band was around at the apex of the shoegaze scene, but they perhaps slid left, right, up, down a little much—too melodious in their waves of distortion, too jangly to be grunge, too poppy to be punks, too pretty and straight to be Madchester ravers. Too often, it's a group's hard-to-place-ness that prevents them from turning a passing sizzle into something sustainable.

A reputation for cockiness and label pressures and spats certainly didn't help. Sometimes, though, a perfect moment is meant to only last for that perfect moment, and it's wonders like this record, so assured and contained, that remind me that the "what if?" question we often find ourselves confronting is a distraction, a red herring, an impulse to fan the flames of infatuation not with deeper connection to that subject of interest but with, well, more shit. 

In the case of Adorable, that desire led to the recording of Fake, a modest LP that tilts towards a flat, less complicated dourness and downcast spirit, one the debut wasn't informed by. Against was a gleaming gem of Echo & the Bunnymen's arena-filling, heartswelling post-punk anthems crossed with the warm fragility of the Jesus and Mary Chain and the fried, blown, tattered brawn of Ride. Often, it's one-and-done series that are the most meaningful. A sense of an ending is a precious gift.