The Mary Onettes - Islands

The last decade brought a plethora of bands who didn’t just wear their 80’s influences on their sleeves but made elaborate outfits from them, parading their anachronistic sounds like little porcelain Pierrot dolls. Sweden’s The Mary Onettes are different, they are not an 80’s tribute act so much as a band cryogenically stored in 1983 only to be set free from their icy fate all these years later. There’s no knowing wink nor ironic new romantic shoulder pads here, just a time capsule to everyday 1980s pop music. Islands is so named as, according to the band, each track is 'like a record of its own'; there’s no denying that, although the combined effect is more like a greatest hits singles collection from a band who didn’t quite have enough greatest hits to justify the release. The overall impression is actually of Aha’s Morten Harket singing over some post punk pop reminiscent of New Order or The Cure with that bass sound most evident on ‘Once I Was Pretty’. Like much of the best work of the 80’s Islands is a an album driven by good old fashioned melancholia, possibly driven by the fact that the band lost the original album masters and had to re-record the whole thing. Ultimately an album as a collection of islands is a pleasant enough conceit but perhaps what was required was a little more cohesion. If they are lucky they might pick up the legions of Aha fans left distraught by their recent split.

Overall

7

out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 17:43:42

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