STATIC AGE, THE: Neon Nights Electric Lives: CD

If you grew up in the 1980s, you know that you simply couldn’t get away from music like this—dark, synth and effects-driven gothic pop that echoes for days. Think somewhere along the lines of the guitar tones of A Flock of Seagulls with the general mood of B-Movie or The Cure; think along the darker, unhappier fringes (though not quite as dark or unhappy as Christian Death or Joy Division—Clan Of Xymox or another synth-driven 4AD band with pop edges will do nicely). Toss in a dash or two of shoegaze (like Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Lush, etc.) to round out the songs and provide some musical depth and texture. Add some breathy, crooning vocals (not entirely unlike Flesh For Lulu, only with more of a husky quality). What you should wind up with, as I said when I first heard “It Never Seems to Last”—a song that should (and in any other world would) have been a massive radio hit—is a soundtrack for a John Hughes film that never got made (and think about John Hughes circa Some Kind of Wonderful or Pretty in Pink, the two movies he made that seemed to capture teen angst and class awareness most honestly). I won’t claim that this is brilliant, innovative, or great, but there are times when I don’t expect or need a record to change my life; right now, this well-crafted album is perfectly satisfying and that’s good enough.

 –scott (Tarantulas)