Some Old Guys Get Back To Business

I’m trying not to do ’80’s related posts here on The Nightmare, I really am. I have another blog for that, as you know, but the ’80’s are everywhere, and have been co-opted in many of the current sounds, so what’s a guy to do? Also, a few of the early pioneers have made decent comebacks this year, against all odds. They’re certainly better than most.

Unlike the massively disappointing OMD ‘comeback’ album of a couple of years ago, Men Without Hats (and their new album, Love in the Age Of War), that most ’80’s of ’80’s bands, have released a new one that’s, actually, quite good. It’s good for a couple of reasons, but the main one is that they didn’t foolishly attempt to modernize their sound. They stick to the formula that worked so well on their debut, Rhythm Of Youth, with Ivan’s trademark yelping and those instantly recognizable synthesizer patterns remaining intact. The second reason? The songs, of course. They’re pure pop candy, instant ear worms. Some have said that it’s a darker sound, but other than the title track I really don’t hear it. Just sounds like vintage MWH to me.

The FIXX, of One Thing Leads To Another Fame, have also released an album in 2012 called Beautiful Friction, and it is quite good as well. The music is still new wave-ish, but The Fixx have always been a prog rock pop band at heart, if you listen closely to their early album cuts, and this album is split in 2, just like a good old fashioned LP used to be. The first side is the proggy side, with longer, more serious compositions, while the back end proves to everyone why these guys were so popular in the fiirst place. All music calls them a “a quirky new wave attack unit”, and they’re not wrong. It may not be as good as Reach The Beach, but it is certainly the best thing they’ve released since then. Worth a listen.

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