Leeds premier synth poppers Girl One and the Grease Guns follow up their singles collection with an actual album which blends their upbeat synth pop with more skeleton moody numbers recalling Human League, Cabaret Voltaire and early Depeche Mode. Their scuzzy take on electro and fuzz pop is always a winning formula.
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Indie-pop. When I were a lad I were mocked mercilessly for liking it. But now everyone is at it and if you like the Pastels it's no longer the same life sentence of mockery that you might receive if you were a massive fan of the life and work of Timmy Mallet. Girl One and the Grease Guns know this and have used their vast knowledge of the back roads of indie music to create an authentic re-production. However there's another element hard at work here and that's the common (or garden) synthesizer. Some of this sounds rather like early OMD trying desperately to get signed to Sarah Records but in between these examples of tin can synth pop are more gruesome terror synth compositions that hark back to those times in the late 70s /'80s when songs were written in black and white. In fact check the sleeve notes and...yes...the album has been recorded in black and white. I knew it. Amidst all this their pop songs have a chirpy charm with bleepy synths picking out melodies over humorous vintage drum machines, vocalist ...um...Sissy Space Echo has the sweet tones of Sarah Cracknell as if she was transported to the early days of Daniel Miller's Mute imprint.
This is fun! Each track has undeniable catchy charm. Synths are fuzzed up to the max and the tunes are nursery rhyme simple - initially it seems a bit over cute but like that time you ate ten sherbert dib-dabs you soon get used to it. And in any case they insert tracks like 'Telegraph Street' which are scary slabs of weird synth pop with more in common with Cabaret Voltaire than Soft Cell. The best bits such as 'Some of It Is Blurred' sounds as if Silicon Teens were re-recording 'Psychocandy' ...oh and Peter Hook is on bass.
It's just people having fun with synths and writing catchy songs with scary bits. Is that enough? For me it is. They say on the sleeve notes that this will be their final and only album. Like Yazoo, they are dangling the carrot and leaving us wanting more. The buggers.
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