Saturday, September 20, 2014

HEARTBREAK-Lies (2008)

ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: September 20, 2014

I cannot tell a lie; I'm a sucker for the weird synthpop musics from the 80's. So after I've spent the better part of the past few days immersing myself in the likes of THE B-52's, KAJAGOOGOO, DEAD OR ALIVE and a band I just got acquainted with named THE FLYING LIZARDS, I pressed forward on my 80's rewind with the British synthpop duo that calls itself HEARTBREAK. But wait a mintue—HEARTBREAK wasn't active until well into this New Millennium, releasing their ten-track debut, "Lies", back in 2008. So how could they possibly be from the 80's? That;s because their sound is from the 80's.....or at least it's inspired by the 80's. And that's the very thing that attracted me to HEARTBREAK's music, even though it took me a minute to get used to their quirky vocals. Only a few seconds into the opener, "Regret", I already had declared myself hooked on this album; that 80's music lover in me gets attached to these electronic beats in a heartbeat (pun intended). Have listened to it twice already, and I still don't know all the words. But then again, I say that a lot about these songs where I'm all caught up in the production. Shades of INFORMATION SOCIETY's "What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy)" can be heard at the beginning of "Don't Lose My Time"—something in the rhythm and the way that 'whoa-whoa oh-oh' is voiced, I suppose. If the singing on that song is weird, then it's nothing short of bizarre on "Soul Transplant". Nervous and unsettling is the mood on this one, with a deep buzzing beat adding enough suspense and intensity to keep you and your ears on edge. Expected some sort of mechanical, computerized voice effects on "Robot's Got The Feeling", but I got them instead on Track #9's "Poison", one of the most bizarre 5+ minutes of music I've heard all this year. So many oddities in the production and the vocals going on here simultaneously, and as cool as it all sounds, I honestly couldn't make anything out except the repeating of the word 'poison' in the lyrics. And I'm wondering if that long, monotonous instrumental drone that plays until the very last second is supposed to represent somebody's heart flat-lining in the ER, considering that these guys call themselves HEARTBREAK? Even more suspenseful is the curiously titled "Deadly Pong". Think this one's about the classic 8-bit video game? I was wrong again! Or was I? At least, I don't recall any referencing to joysticks or points or balls being hit back and forth in a virtual tennis environment. Yet the fact that the song itself is so unusual is what makes it cool. Shades of another memorable 80's group rushed to the surface on the concluding track, "Living Just For Fun".....that is, in the production, of course, where I always seem to make these comparisons. That familiar throbbing beat that plays all throughout FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD's "Relax"? It's throbbing just the same all throughout the concluding track, "Living Just For Fun" which, coincidentally, happens to be the most relaxed moment on this entire album, given the calmed-down vocals and the warming background ambiance. Though no song here had made me and my heart more content than "Akin To Dancing". And it does make me feel like dancing, thanks to the hi-tech, Italo-disco inspired beat and the spacey melody. 'You will never me sitting down', says the lyrics, and you may never see me putting this song down!

1. Regret
2. Don't Lose My Time
3. Soul Transplant
4. Robot's Got The Feeling
5. Akin To Dancing
6. We're Back
7. Deadly Pong
8. Give Me Action
9. Poison
10. Living Just For Fun

No comments: