If the contents of this album sounds like the soundtrack to an eighties movie, that is the whole point. (The clue is in the title) Dan Haight, Alex Gingell and Fightstar’s Alex Westaway revel in the decade and remind us that between the “more is more” approach to fashion and some frankly awful music, there was a core sound that not only evokes those times but also is worth giving a makeover for a modern audience. The result is Gunship, a synthwave band defined as much by their fresh, contemporary stance as they are by their deeply embedded retro influences.
Although there is a narrative to the album, one of romance, fear, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the celebration of life, it is the sweeping synths, instrumental interludes and pulsing eighties electro beats that are the star of the show and the result is the soundtrack to a classic film that exists only in the rose-tinted minds of the band. It is a testament to the albums authenticity that film icon John Carpenter loved the music enough to contribute a voice track to the albums lead track Tech Noir.
For all its backward perspective the album is surprisingly appealing, both to those of a certain age and younger music fans who appreciate the cyclical nature of current bands eighties references.
Those who remember the sixties weren’t really there. Those who remember the eighties probably drink heavily to block most of it out, but if you do want a taste of that much-maligned decade maybe the best way is through re-imaginings like this album….and obviously via a pile of Killing Joke albums.