omg! omd’s back…

With all the brilliance of the new electronic pop bands coming to the fore and the second wind we’ve seen this year by the likes of Depeche Mode and the Pet Shop Boys, the time is right for another giant to return to the fold. Yes, friends, let’s rejoice for the band known as Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark is back! I don’t think it’s necessary to go through the band’s voluminous CV. You know the songs, you know the hits. Electricity. Enola Gay. Tesla Girls. If You Leave. The list goes on and on and on. The band had a run like very few of their contemporaries did in the eighties and even after the band splintered towards the end of the decade with singer/bassist Andy McCluskey carrying the torch for a few more records and adding a few more hits to the OMD canon before ending it for good.

Here we are thirteen years from the last release, 1996’s Universal, to discover the news of a new record The History of Modern will soon be upon us in the new year.  With this news comes a bit of a tease for fans ol and hopefully new. It’s a demo of what may very well be the new single called Sister Marie Says. Upon the first couple of listens, the song begins with a choral sample before opening wide into yummy electro-pop. Very reminiscent of OMD circa Sugar Tax/Liberator. Welcome back Andy and Paul!



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“Sister Marie Says” by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, taken from the forthcoming release, “The History Of Modern”


she wants animal attraction…

I hate lazy journalists. By “journalists”, I include critics, fellow bloggers, reviewers and the like. I say I hate them because of the process used to critique music nowadays.  Very often instead of taking the time out to properly research a band and listen to what they are trying to express and the manner in which their message is being conveyed, the reviewer/critic/blogger often slices and dices a band and files them into a “sounds like” box. You know…Interpol being a blatant Joy Division ripoff, Bloc Party’s Wire fetish circa Silent Alarm etc… It’s maddening to say the least and oftentimes takes the fun out of enjoying music.

One such band that gets criticised unfairly is LA’s She Wants Revenge. Quite possibly the smartest, dirtiest band going. By now, I’m sure the comparisons are familiar to you. An unabashed rehash of Joy Division and Depeche Mode. Yadda yadda yadda. I swear.. I have to ask if these people actually listen to the music. Let’s break it down. The Joy Division peg comes from Justin’s baritone vocals which sound nothing resembling the late, great Ian Curtis tortured wails while the Depeche Mode comparison is the biggest example of laziness. Usually most indie rock reviewers when it comes to anything electronic pop related know only of Depeche Mode so you’re left with a one-size fits all scenario. Any band that uses synths immediately gets a “RIYL Depeche Mode” advisory note attached.

The purpose of the rant above is simply a primer for me to let you know about the brilliant new track they’ve got out called Animal Attraction which maybe, just maybe will appear on an upcoming EP. If you’re a fan of the band (and I am), you will fall over yourself.  This track would fit right in at your local goth night if they still exist in your town. So dark, so filthy, so immediate which is pretty much SWR’s stock in trade. Give it a spin while giving two fingers to your least favourite music critic!

“Animal Attraction” by She Wants Revenge

the gods of electro face off!



Here we go! Two of the heavyweights have their new albums drop Stateside! You’ve got the Pet Shop Boys on one corner and in the other…Depeche Mode! Who will outsell who? Will we hear more references of West End Girls than Personal Jesus? Will Chris Lowe ever take those sunglasses off ever again? These questions and possibly a bunch more may be answered when the stores and the throngs er…lines of synth-nerds, electro-freaks, new wave casualties and the like make their way to their local Walmart, Best Buy…or who am I kidding, log on to Amazon or I-Tunes to purchase their copies. 

Pssst…I cheated. I pre-ordered both via Amazon! I’m very disheartened that I wasn’t able to snag a copy of the Mode prior to the release thus no review. I guess I can always do one once I give it a couple of listens, no?

crash test dummies are back in fashion…


I must say. A pretty cool video from the Depeche boys… What do you guys think?



I was born with the wrong sign

In the wrong house 
with the wrong ascendancy
I took the wrong road 
that lead to 
the wrong tendencies
I was in the wrong place 
at the wrong time
by the wrong reason and the wrong rhyme
On the wrong day of the wrong week
use the wrong method with the wrong technique”

And there it is. The debut of Wrong, the brand spanking new single from Depeche Mode taken from the forthcoming record Sounds Of The Universe. The song was performed live at the Echo Awards in Germany and naturally given a rousing ovation by those in attendance. What do we think, people? Have the Mode still got it? Have the Pet Shop Boys set the bar so high that DM flail in the wind in their attempts to reach the next upward rung? 

Personally, I think Wrong is a strong single and is a fine addition to the DM discography which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that Depeche Mode’s record for top notch singles needs no defense yet a curse in that there is nothing here that makes you believe that after all these years Martin Gore has had anything else happen besides pain, being on his knees, something S & M related or being God’s fault. Scope has never been DM’s forte. Yet it must be said that if you don’t care about any of that then enjoy Wrong and leave the navel-gazing and chin-stroking to scribes like yours truly. 🙂

anyone afraid of dragons?

“here we start the dislocating
found so far from what we dream
hammered down and resurrected
we burn the scars of what we bring
and now an time of new beginning
alone the past will never end
you will never catch me thinking
it can ever be the same”

If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m an Anglophile. If I had a choice in the matter I’d have been born right around the mid to late fifties in England so that way I’d have formed a band like all the other disaffected youth combing the streets of Leeds, Manchester, London, Liverpool, Bristol ot Sheffield. The talent pool was immense and much of the music that came out of the time frame helped to shape me and many others around the world in such beautiful music that ushered in a wave of limitless influence. 
One band who learned their lessons very well is known as Dragons. Informed by such luminaries like Joy Division, New Order, & Depeche Mode, Dragons come to us with a healthy dose of aggression in songs like the title track from their debut record Here Are The Roses, or Condition as well as more tender moments in songs such as Where Is The Love. With solid arrangements and an emphasis on songwriting to accompany the sonic backdrop, this is yet another band from across the pond that begs to be ringing in your ears. Pick up the record now here and see for yourself. For more info, be their friend on MySpace. After all, it is the place for friends, innit? 🙂

more news from fast fashion!

Hot off the presses! It’s the tracklisting for Sounds of the Universe:

1. In Chains
2. Hole To Feed
3. Wrong
4. Fragile Tension
5. Little Soul
6. In Sympathy
7. Peace
8. Come Back
9. Spacewalker
10. Perfect
11. Miles Away / The Truth Is
12. Jezebel
13. Corrupt

Sounds of the Universe is out 21 April 2009 on Mute Records.

For those of you in the NYC area, be sure to stop by the 310 Lounge on the Bowery for the Party of the Universe! It should be a grand time as the celebration of a brand new DM record takes over NYC!

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