Friday, August 22, 2014


SIGN SYSTEM-Burning Down (1985)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: August 22, 2014

Another tell-tale sign that I'm as crazy about the awesome 80's as I was when I was still growing up in the 80's! My next adventure on my trek back through my favorite decade is the synthpop/new wave group SIGN SYSTEM. Always fun to explore the synthpop genre on my own and dig up something from the past I've never heard before. The lead vocalist sounds makes me want to think about British synthpop extraordinaire Howard Jones while the band's sound itself has a bit of an Italo-disco feel combined with that good ole 80's pop/rock. The 'new wave', I'd say, comes in the form of the lyrics to the songs on their only known album, "Burning Down" (I immediately had flashbacks of TALKING HEADS' "Burning Down The House" the moment I observed the title). Well, I practically did burn right through these songs actually, getting my 80's listening for the night started with the opener, "Man On The Run". Kinda sailed along until my ears got hooked on to the album's fourth track, "Game Of Love" (the monotonic manner in which that 'love love love love' is repeatedly sung is what I found particularly enticing) and "You'll Never Change My Mind", where the synthesized beat is like dull metal clanging against something—simplistic, yet somehow very catchy. Anita Baker's "Sweet Love" may be sweeter on the ears than SIGN SYSTEM's own original having entirely different lyrics, but the nice melody makes it a sweet listen nonetheless. Then for something harder-rocking, the band is hard at work making sure you enjoy the album's final track, "Hard Work". Just easy music with easy arrangements—sounds like the memorable 80's to me and sounds like something that would be hard to get out of my system after listening to it a whole bunch of times over:

1. Man On The Run
2. On Fire
3. Stay With Me
4. Game Of Love
5. You'll Never Change My Mind
6. Unknown Town
7. Burning Down
8. Nobody Knows The Answer
9. Sweet Love
10. Hard Work

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