When paying homage to the 80’s, many of today’s artists and musicians immediately tend to plump for the dance crossover type of effervescent synth-pop style, heavily popularised in the decade by bands such as Erasure, Dead Or Alive, and hitmakers Stock Aitken and Waterman. When at first, it was the New Wave movement which was pivotal, to the booming, electronic music revolution of the time, and yet, isn’t often served with the same degree of recognition. With the upcoming release of his album “AWOL“, this June, American singer-songwriter Kevin Max is poised to make amends to the pioneers of the new wave scene. Having drawn inspiration from the likes of Duran Duran, The Cure, David Bowie, Japan and David Sylvian et, al “AWOL” is a different kind of freshly, retro-styled nostalgic.
The former member of four times GRAMMY-winning Christian pop/rock band DC Talk turns to the bands which first sparked, his interest in music on “AWOL“. Instead of replicating what the leaders in the genre have done before he’s breathing new life into, new wave with a helping hand from producer Kieran Kelly, Andy Rourke (Bass player with The Smiths) and Matt Johnson (Drums, St. Vincent). It is an exciting project not least in terms of, rolling back time but is a reminder of the stylish intellect, alternative, electronic music gave to the genre.
The first taste of the project is out, as the single “Eurorail“, where we definitely, hear an eerie, atmospheric resonance. As though, a hat tip to The Cure and all, the wealth of post-punk/goth pop, Robert Smith, and his band are most, beloved for. Also gleaming out from the track comes, a top line and melody thrumming with edgy elements akin to that of David Sylvian and Japan. The glory, of the track, and of the album “AWOL” is it’s off-kilter and sprawling with an unrelenting grip of cohesive sound that owes much, to the synthetic and organic, alternative, electronic-pop songs which also made the music of the 80’s so great.