Monday, June 26, 2017

VOLT-Modern Times (1993)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: June 26, 2017

Not so modern is the synthpop and electronic music I've been treating my ears to the past couple of days, and that includes this personal music wish of mine that I finally fulfilled for myself! The Belgian pop project that went by the name of VOLT released just this one album—a collection of some of the quirkiest, most senseless songs that you'll ever hear in the whole synthpop genre. Ahh, and it was all music to my ears! Once I heard the group's lead singer (with his deep, monotonic vocals, he totally gets me thinking about HUMAN LEAGUE's Philip Oakey and Dave Gahan, the long-time frontman of DEPECHE MODE) started singing about getting a 'thirty days money back guarantee' on the opening title track, I knew I was in store for a bizarre music adventure. "Cars Can Be Cruel" has a new-wavish charm about it; plus it speaks some of the most down-to-earth truths on this album when it talks about cruel cars always running out of fuel and needing tools to be fixed, and what he says about there being an automatic difference taking over common sense. "Superman" evolves into a cool listen after it grows on the ears; this is where I make the closest comparison of him to both Philip Oakey and David Gahan. Then super-catchy are the choruses to the full-on Euro-house jam, "Sample Me" (' they're gonna sample me, s-s-sample me ' gets stuck in your head in no time flat!), and "Vicious Fish" (weird title, isn't it; I like the semi-calypso beat above the bass line here). The Euro-house element can be enjoyed elsewhere: "Green On Red" (a quirky analogy made to traffic lights on this one), "Count To 8" (my absolute favorite—the chords, the beat and the music, particularly the soft piano accenting it all; still trying to figure out what he means by the future being made when they count to eight) and the concluding cut, "Rincez-Moi" (minimal vocals + groovy beat + moody ambiance = something new to add to my 'Ambient Chill-Out Mix'; the 'voltage' sound effect in the intro is a nice touch, given this group's name). A lot of us may be hooked on the music of today, but "Modern Times" reveals (there's a double meaning to that, actually) that there are still quite a few of us who are stuck on the sounds of yesterday:

1. Modern Times
2. Cars Can Be Cruel
3. Superman
4. Nick Lauda's Girl
5. Train To Interzone
6. Count To 8
7. Sample Me
8. Vicious Fish
9. Green On Red
10. Hammer & Nail
11. Believe
12. Rincez-Moi

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