Prior to their November 2011 EP release, Adventure Set haven’t felt a pulse since the mid 1980s. In their heyday as contenders in Boston’s altrock scene, the band reached second place in the WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble, an annual battle of the bands hosted by the renowned and now-defunct radio station. Soon followed a hiatus in which the members pursued careers and other musical endeavors.
The 5-song EP Centuries to Go draws heavily from the New Wave vein-- it’s in Ken Scales’ beguiling, looming vocals and Mark Pothier’s arty lyrics-- as if Scales and Pothier weren’t quite finished with whatever business they left behind in the eighties. Saying that they are stuck in the past would be inaccurate. The songs from Centuries to Go are more precise and keyboard-driven than their older material. Stereo Hands opens the album in an upbeat and eerie way with hints of David Bowie peeking his way through Scale’s vocals as he sings about the limitations in using technology to communicate. Fueled by synths and an energetic catchiness, Paler Faces is the most dynamic track of the five, making the most out of both the electronic and pop aspects of Adventure Set’s style.
The EP’s biggest upset is that it takes almost no risks as each song follows the formula until it reaches the average four-minute mark just as expectedly as the last one. It would be great to hear Scales and Pothier take their material a step further and see what else can be explored with their jaunty New Wave-flavored pop.