Posts Tagged post-punk

show preview: Modern English at Middle East Downstairs Tuesday, June 7, 2016


While at the Trashcan Sinatras show last month at the Middle East Upstairs, I overheard a guy, while perusing the posters for upcoming shows, say: “Modern English. There’s a one-hit wonder.” Is the band a one-hit wonder? Not really. Modern English just never hit that big in the United States. Sure, no 80s party would be complete without a spin of “Melt with You” but that track never hit the top ten. Honestly I’ve never adored “Melt with You” but I’ve been listening to the band’s earlier material and its superb. I expect to me fully engulfed in gorgeous gloominess tonight. The band formed in Colchester, Essex, English in 1979.On its first album Mesh & Lace (1981), Modern English possesses a similar sound and energy, favoring dark deep beats and lyrics, to other post-punk 80s artists such as Echo & the Bunnymen and Bauhaus. 1990’s Pillow Lips embraces a gentler, more upbeat sound. Modern English will release a new album soon. Contribute via Pledge Music.

modern english then

Modern English is:

Robbie Grey [vocals]
Gary McDowell [guitar, vocals]
Michael Conroy [bass, vocals]
Stephen Walker [keyboards]


Mesh & Lace (1981)

After the Snow (1982)

Ricochet Days (1984)

Stop Start (1986)

Pillow Lips (1990)


Modern English–Tuesday, June 7, 2016– at The Middle East Downstairs.


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music review: Vulkano


Often when you sing you lose any accent. But if you listen to punk-pop bands like Cibo Matto and Shonen Knife or indie pop bands Ivy [led by French singer Dominique Durand] or French band Stereolab, you’ll hear bits of the singer’s native tongue in a charming or progressive manner depending on the band and musical genre. It’s both with Vulkano. In every song you can hear lead vocalist/drummer Cissi Efraimsson’s beguiling Swedish accent. It absolutely differentiates this duo from other post-punk bands. Not only that but it’s a duo with two women—not seen nearly enough– who complement each other with every arrangement. Keyboardist/ percussionist Lisa Pyk-Wirström produces intriguing, creepy and energetic melodies while Efraimsson showcases her vocal range and drumming skills.

“Choir of Wolves” drops in with supercharged keys and a strong melody—“we’re howling in the moonlight/crawling naked in the rain.” Efraimsson’s vox are the focal point on the swirling, ambient “Vision Tricks”—that Swedish accent bold and urgent. The exhilarating “We Ride” would make the perfect work-out or spin class song with rumbling drums, whirling keys and repetitive chorus of “We ride.” I adore how Efraimsson vacillates from subdued to screaming on the darker, beautiful “Psycho Girl.” Perhaps the album’s best song. On first listen, I thought this a merely fun album but on further listens it revealed itself to be much more layer by layer and that’s the best musical discovery of all.

Live Wild Run Free [released July 1, 2014]


purchase at Amazon: Live Wild Die Free

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