Monday, October 22, 2012

"Pelican West" by Haircut One Hundred (1982)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl

"Let's go to Norway, live in rain and snow and get totally depressed about nothing at all."
Key Tracks:
Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)
and Baked Bean

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:Marine Boy strays too far into seventies soft rock and there are just too many competing ideas.

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:Recommended Listening (3/4 stars)

I had never heard anything by Haircut One Hundred before last night.  It turned out to be a really fun surprise.

"Pelican West" does exactly what you want good new wave music to do: it borrows heavily from fringier genres and repackages them into a pop-friendly sound with lots of melody.  And this LP is squarely in that zone.

Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl) clearly influenced Duran Duran.  In fact, if I had heard this on the radio, I would have thought it was one of their songs.  And Milk Film would have fit in just fine on "Murmur."

But then you also get those other genre elements.  If you like eighties sax (and who doesn't?  Oh yeah, ME whenever it involves George Thorogood...) then this is the record for you.  There are also some great funk tinges.  And sometimes it's more than a tinge.  Calling Captain Autumn is a pretty good Ohio Players impression.

So, is it an album?  Yes.  It's tight and it's driven.

Up next, we delve back into bombastic classic rock with "Burnin' Sky" by Bad Company.

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