Friday, February 8, 2013


I guess compared to now, the 80's were a pretty good time.  Everybody's so friggin' tense now, you know?  Jobs are scarce, money's tight, nobody trusts our institutions.  So when the band Junior High comes along, celebrating what it was like when they were growing up in the 80's (kids), I guess I understand.  They are nostalgic for a more relaxed time, and want to find it in the music they loved then.

Still, they are good musicians, and know to make it modern, too.  Yes, there are tons of synth lines, but there's lots of everything thrown in as well.  It's pop, dance, fun, and Prince, too.  Electro-dance-funk or something.  And while these boys are remixers and DJ's, they know how important the real stuff is too, so we get that cool mix of high-tech, old instruments and actual performance, which seems to be where the best are at these days.  Hearing the groovy guitar that begins D.O.P.E., a line that James Brown would approve, which then gets an old clavinet-type line added on, it's enough to make old Talking Heads fans perk up, or at least Tom Tom Club ones.

Coming from California, there's lots of sunshine making its way into the songs, bright and cheery numbers such as So Many Changes, with its big chorus, high vocals over faux-pedal steel.  The Prince party continues in the break-down, and those old 80's instrumentals like Axel F from Beverly Hills Cop come to mind.  The best thing here is that there is no irony involved.  The Junior High guys aren't trying to be cool, and bring back what was once considered ripe cheese.  They just want to have fun!  Gee, what decade did I hear that motto in before?

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