Reviews


Denim On Ice by Scotty M.

Echo Records
13 Bramley Road
London W10 65P
Now is the time when British retro glam and pop is on its way back, thanks to groups like Blur, Pulp and Suede. I'm happy to tell you that one band that will wrongfully be lumped into this category, who tops all of these artists is Denim. It's pop that pokes fun at everything from the British pub rock scene in "The Great Pub Rock Revival", to oral sex in "Grandad's False Teeth."
Denim use synthesizers and canned beats to create the perfect early 80s synth sound. The thing is that most of this music has a 70s feel. Only they are so goddamn synthpop it makes my head spin. It's intelligent synth-based music in the same vein as the Magnetic Fields. This is the second release from Denim, who sprang forth from lead singer Lawrence's 1980s Cherry Red/Creation band, Felt. It's a far cry from the lush guitar of Felt, though. With Denim, it all comes down to witty, intellectual, corny but cool pop. The bouncy synth is pulled off with much style, especially on "Shut Up Sidney". Here, Lawrence sings, "Kim Wilde-you what-Spandau-oh get lost-shut up Sidney that's not rock & roll. Sigue Sigue-Sputnik-Westworld-I'm gonna be sick-shut up Sidney that's not rock & roll." Irony, true, and it's lovely.
From songs about people looking for a job on "Job Centre," to shooting up drugs on "Glue And Smack," it's all very tongue in cheek. Most of the songs are upbeat. There are a few ballads like "Synthesizers in the Rain" that sound like early OMD or Human League. It's all fun and very entertaining. So, go out and trade in your leather for Denim On Ice. It will have you bopping up and down in no time.
If you like Denim, check out the following bands: early BAD, Cars pre-Heartbeat City, OMD, Pulp, Sweet, Chris Knox and Carter USM.
Also, be sure to pick up some Felt. They were Creation's greatest band! -Scotty M