Monday, December 19, 2011

The Chain Gang of 1974

The name, The Chain Gang of 1974, might conjure images of sweaty prisoners working on rail in the middle of the desert but the band who share this namesake are so far away from that image it will make you wonder why they even called themselves that. That being said, this heavily 80's influenced band has taken the path of bands like Echo and the Bunnymen and created a name that's so far out it's just awkwardly cool. Musically, it's no different as their album, Wayward Fire, is a never-ending tribute to new romanticism, 80's vibes, post punk angularity and synth pop seduction.

With odd beats, lush synths, and hooks so large they could hook a continent there's nothing about Wayward Fire that's bad. This is a richly produced synth pop record whose energy and lyricism is infectious. Pieced together by one man wunderkind Kamtin Mohager, he attacks this album with a sense of dark urgency that provides the whole thing with never ending motivation. Wayward Fire is an album that clearly wants to move and it will stop at nothing to do so. And why should it when you sound like the best combination of the Scissor Sisters, The Rapture, and Tears for Fears to ever walk the earth?

Aggressively good, ridiculously catchy, and produced with more glossy sheen than legally allowed, this is a record that could make people with two left feet dance like a choreographer. This is urgent pop music that's far from wayward but it's likely to catch fire. Easily one of my favorite albums of 2011.

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