There is no doubt in my mind that the spirit of the 1980s lives on,
and every once in a while an album comes along that totally reinforces
that theory. Building on the synth-heavy pop of the early 80s, Roxy
Epoxy And The Rebound form their own sound, integrating modern
rhythmic elements and an aggressive attitude that belies their easy-to-listen-to
sound. Roxy herself sounds like an agitated Deborah Harry,
or perhaps an angsty version of Susan Ann Sulley from The
Human League. Bandaids On Bullet Holes is filled front
to back with hooky, synth-laden tracks that scream for your attention,
beginning with the gritty riffs of "Walls". The band invokes
the new wave spirit on this opening track, building in great fuzzy
guitars and groovy drums to foreshadow the goodness that is to come.
"New Way" falls back into almost pure synthesizer territory,
with Roxy banging out the rhythm with her vocals as she diatribes
"Sometimes there's no forgiveness, sometimes there's things to
say/sometimes there's rolling blackouts, it's who's fault anyway?/There
are no faulty concepts, there are no things to say/They say the sky
is falling, the price is so cliché". Guitars chime in
to add a vicious depth to the song as it escalates into a rocking
chorus before doubling time and wallowing in its pure 1980's musical
bliss. The band launches into an almost rockabilly swing on "This
Twist" while Roxy sings about pills and addiction; the song invokes
the spirit of The Damned with a lighter twist, but the same
menacing growl mixes with some prime grrrl rock. "Svengali"
not only resurrects the '80s in its sound, but also in its allegorical
lyrics and stuttering approach. Nowhere does Roxy sound more like
Blondie than here, but The Rebound really carries the show,
filling the synthy song out with crunchy guitars and tight drumming.
"Lola's Vision" draws deeply on the band's synth roots,
building string pads and gritty lead lines into a catchy and beguiling
tale about something and nothing at all.
Bandaids On Bullet Holes is a wonderful trip down memory lane,
while introducing the world to a talent that far supercedes mere camp
or retro-nostalgia. Roxy Epoxy makes music that is immediately likeable,
but also vicious, menacing, and exciting
eagerly drawing the
listener into her weirdly encapsulated Wonderland, complete with blue
and red pills and a set of strange characters and their unique stories.
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