The Sunshine Underground album launch, Birthdays, London 22nd April 2014
It is impossible not to sound like bands and sounds of yore, yet there are ways of acknowledging the past without resorting to pastiche. Not for this band the Year Zero of Oasis or millennial posh-punks The Strokes, their heritage stems more from the punk funk sound from New York (70s and 00s) and with the new album a pristine 80s sheen. Produced by desk jockey du jour, Ross Orton, (Kid Acne, Fat Truckers, Arctic Monkeys) there is a definite 80s ‘New Pop’ sheen to the new album. Echoes of Howard Jones, Japan and Human League abound, but, they are more than a blend of nostalgia.
Lumped in lazily by the NME under that unmissed ‘nu rave’ banner they are not what you would call prolific; this is a band that likes to take its time. It’s hardly a gap of Kate Bush proportions; releasing only three albums in 9 years, Raise the Alarm (2006), Nobody’s coming to save you (2009) and now the self-titled third; it’s better to get it right than churn out any old product. Yeah, you Franz Ferdinand.
The Shundergrind hailing from Leeds via Telford are showcasing their new long-player at Birthdays, situated in Dalston, the capital’s hotbed of craft ales, beards, pastel turn-ups, start-ups and roll ups. The crowd are slow to get going, but, ease into it. Opening naturally with ‘Start’ it signals a seamless progression from their catalogue, evincing a druggy, clubby vibe, all fat bass and wistful glances across the youth club dance floor.
‘Finally we arrive’ has Nick Rhodes’ fingerprints all over it, languid synths and mood, still the sound of the future now.
The Same Old Ghosts begins with a chugging, throbbing bass that gathers bloops and beeps building to a crooning falsetto. ‘It Is Only You’ begins with the familiar Casio VL-1 pre-programmed beats famously used by Trio on Da Da Da.
Vince Clarke is arguably the most underrated musician of the last 30 years and ‘Turn it on’ is brilliant in its Erasureness. Rightly lauded for his stuff with Depeche Mode and Yazoo, Clarke’s output with Erasure is rightly (if unknowingly) celebrated here. All Andy Bell swooning and yearning this song deserves to be this year’s ‘Get Lucky’; a dancefloor hit from Croatia to Crawley.
Closing with their first single from 2005, ‘Put you in your place’ and ‘I aint losing any sleep’ they seem antiquated compared to the new batch. Still good songs, but lacking the oomph, pizzazz and newness of the new songs.
The new album is out 19th May. Snap it up.
“On average, vegans are healthier and have more energy than meat-eaters do – and that makes them sexier, too”, says Peta UK Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi.
The linking of diet/ethical treatment of animals with carnal desire. Men occupying the ‘blue corner’
I share the concern over the treatment of animals, but, this is piffle. ‘Sack off meat and dairy and trust me, the birds’ll be flocking’ (Seed only diet advised)
Reading my way through pop culture one book at a time
A journey through the history of British Subculture Fashion
Author and Investigative Reporter
Everything With a Blue Toffee fFavour
Research and reflections by Ben Green
Author, Freelance Journalist, Sub-Editor and Lecturer
Feminist music-making in the UK and Ireland in the 1970s and 80s
international media and nostalgia network
Independent research and academic analysis into migration, media and international politics
A Site of Beautiful Resistance
On this site I share articles from my vast collection of music magazines. You can even buy them! Follow me on Facebook or Twitter to ensure you never miss an update!
Revisiting and monitoring the crimes of Britain
There is no antidote for arrogance with ignorance
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself.
Israel. Palestine. Israel-Palestine.
Stick your bugle into cool British culture
Genres Don't Matter, Good Musik is Good Musik. Find Something New and Try It.
"I haven't heard this song in years, it never fails to start the tears"
Clever talk about music and pop culture