There is something oddly sophisticated about new wave and power pop bands from the 1980s. Getting away with this style today is seemingly impossible to my ears. Current bands try, but honestly lack an entire era of support. Maybe it is a phase I am in, but when I discover a band like The Vapors, as I sift through a record shop, I feel like it is fate. If you have not heard of this semi-successful underrated English band from the 80’s, I am pleased to introduce you.
New Clear Days is the band’s first album featuring the hit single you may recognize, “Turning Japanese”. The song hit No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, and No. 36 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. It even comes with its own commonly misunderstood euphemism. Can you beat that? I think not.
This album is perfectly angsty. Just say the album name real fast! Not to mention I love the album artwork. “Here we have a bit of low pressure mixed with nuclear fall out.” Musically the baselines are smooth, the guitar keeps an awesome rhythm mixed with some great leads, and the drums have a necessary simplicity to them. There are songs like “Letters From Hiro” that you want to sink into, but the tempo pulls you out of the trance just as it began to put you under. By the song’s end you realize you were put back into the trance without even knowing it.
Put the best British tea you’ve got on the kettle and get this record spinning. By the time the caffeine sets in you’ll already be grooving.
I spotted this album at Strictly Discs in Madison, WI.