Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dark and Bubblegum

I found this great early 80's band (ok I'm on a kick) that I'd never heard of called Romeo Void. Judging from their sound, the band seems to have been around at the tail of the postpunk movement. You can hear traces of that style's staccato guitar rhythms (found in bands like Gang of Four and Echo and the Bunnymen) meshing with more orchestrated synth arrangements that were associated with the burgeoning new romantic bands like Duran Duran and Simple Minds. Two songs in particular that struck me were "Never Say Never" and "A Girl in Trouble." Both are carried by the sexy and feminist-leaning vocals of Debora Lyall. "Never Say Never" in particular has a great hook with the line "I might like you better if we slept together." I can see Brett Easton Ellis listening to this while writing on a balcony in the hollywood hills. Interestingly, Lyall did not have a traditional pop look. She was chubby and had some kind of ethnicity (pacific islands?) that would definitely never fly in today's market (which sucks.)

The musicianship was also pretty good in the band (except the sax player, ugh) which is something I always appreciate in pop music. The rhythm section had a tight angular attack poking through the suggestive and soft anger of the vocals. They're quite a find.

One of the best examples of technique and hook-saviness is another band from the same era, Missing Persons, featuring uber-geek drummer Terry Bozzio. That band also had a female singer (Terry's wife, Dale) but their sound was lighter with subtle prog flourishes. The album Spring Session M is AMAZING and should be mandatory for anyone who appreciates well arranged and executed ear candy with some heft to it.


j_ay said...

Spring Session M is indeed a great album. Dale was Terry's wife, not sis.

Evan said...

oops...mistake corrected. thanks!

Sorry Dear said...

I might like you better if we slept together.

Evan said...

i might like you better if you come to my next show on november 17th at mi-5 in tribeca.