Los Microwaves: Life After Breakfast LP (Posh Boy, 1981/reissued by Dark Entries, 2013)

June 30, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Los Microwaves: Life After Breakfast

Los Microwaves: Life After Breakfast

Apparently Posh Boy released this album in America, kind of interesting given that most of that label’s roster was punk and hardcore (Agent Orange, T.S.O.L., Black Flag, Circle Jerks), and this is new wave/synth-pop. Celluloid released the album overseas and that seems a bit more fitting. Anyway, Dark Entries is bringing this San Francisco group’s album back from the dead, and it’s somewhat silly, paranoid new wave, heavy on synths but also with bass guitar and live drums (in addition to drum machines), so it sounds closer to rock than electronic music. “Time To Get Up” is an anthem for anyone who hates getting up in the morning just to go to a job they hate. “What’s That Got To Do (With Loving You?)” is a hooky, catchy pop-rock song with that early ’80s “zap” keyboard sound, and a drummer trying to play along with a drum machine. “Reckless Dialogue” is a spoken word track, which inevitably reminds me of Algebra Suicide (whom Dark Entries just released an essential anthology of) but this track is less deadpan, less musical and just minimal overall. “T.V. In My Eye” is one of the band’s favorite songs of theirs, and probably mine too. It’s about how advertisers categorize people by their shopping and viewing habits, and how target markets are researched and catered to. Obviously the type of song that hasn’t lost any relevance in 30+ years. “Forever” is a speedy new wave tune with a heavy beat, and organs which seem to change direction and play a different type of music every few bars, from salsa rhythms to spacey circus melodies, with some lyrics in Spanish. “Postponed Is Not Forgotten” is a brief instrumental opening side B, then “La Voix Humane”, a song about twirling the phone cord around while talking to them, and feeling their presence that way, an experience which admittedly might be lost on the current generation. “Is There Life After Breakfast?” sort of continues the theme of the album’s opening track, wondering if life is worth getting up for in the morning, but at least this time you get to eat some breakfast. “You Bet” is another speedy synth-pop song, with sort of a B-52’s type organ melody, but more melody, and some bongos. “Radio Heart” ends the album also reminding me of The B-52’s, due to the call-and-response vocals and the bassline, and the quirky synth lines. The song cuts off suddenly for some reason, while the band is saying “radiooooooooo” but before they can get to “heart”. A really fun album of vintage dance-punk, which definitely seems to capture something missing from the 21st century hipsterized version of the genre.

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