This is the new project from the Moonlandingz founders Adrian Flanagan (Eccentronic Research Council) & Dean Honer (All Seeing I /I Monster) with Leonore Wheatley (The Soundcarriers). They play brazenly retro synth pop in awe of artists such as Kraftwerk, the Human League, Suzanne Ciani & Broadcast. Playful synth pop that they claim is the '3rd most important outsider pop album to come out of Sheffield since Dare & Different Class'. They have chutzpah at least.
Vinyl LP £14.49 DSPOOLLP6
Black vinyl LP on Desolate Spools.
CD £11.99 DSPOOLCD6
CD on Desolate Spools.
Limited Vinyl LP £18.25 DSPOOLLPC6
Limited edition green vinyl LP on Desolate Spools.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
They love themselves definitely. "I think It’s the 3rd most important outsider pop album to come out of Sheffield since Dare & Different Class" says leader Adrian Flanagan. Yet their promo CD wouldn't play in our machine despite repeated attempts. So not a good start then.
Thankfully Spotify saves us and gives us a glimpse into an album which surely won't be compared favourably to Marquee Moon and Forever Changes in years to come and...but yes it's fun. They peddle a chunky kind of electro-pop using old analogue synths to create bounding pop songs that lull up at you like a particularly enthusiastic labrador. The four to the floor kick drum will get most people up on the dancefloor and the synths are larger than your average ones. When they write a good song as on stonking opener 'After Dark' and the pumping insistent 'Age of the Train' the effect is somewhat thrilling.
It's all glitterball pop with that all important sense of melancholy - like a turbo charged Saint Etienne though the relentlessly upbeat nature can be wearing after a few songs particularly as - though catchy- these songs lack the consistent songwriting nous that have made albums such as 'Dare' such perennial favourites.
But it's 2019 and everything is miserable so I'm perfectly content to embrace an album that wants to try and make people a bit happier.
8/10 Ted Maul 12th February 2019
Really wonderfully produced synth-pop. Pumping beats, wobbly synths, little squiggly noises all over the shop are ready and present. On top of that you've got great hooks, sweet vocals from Leonore Wheatley and no shortage of ideas.
If you had to criticise it, you might say it doesn't push synth-pop into any new territory. I don't have a problem with that, ITOP sound proud of their influences and they're spray painted in 6 foot high letters all over this album.
An album I've had on several times a day since it plopped through my letterbox the other day.
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