B-Movie - The Age of Illusion (2014)
The iconic 80's four piece has now reformed, played live and recorded an EP Distant Skies in 2013 which has been added to The Age of Illusion for this deluxe version. This post-punk keyboard and guitar combo originated from Mansfield, England. Graham Boffey (drums) and Paul Statham (guitar) were one-time members of punk band the Aborted, formed, like so many others, in the wake of the first Clash album. The duo invited Steve Hovington and Rick Holliday along to rehearsals, changing their name to B-Movie. Fans both new and old will be amazed with this new project.
B-Movie - The Age of Illusion (2014)
Electronic, Synthpop, New Wave, Post-Punk | No Emb Blanc Records
256 kbps | AAC | unmixed | 2014 | 45:46 | 102 Mb
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01. Age Of Illusion
02. Other People's Lives
03. Perfect Storm
04. She's A Car Crash
06. The Dreamers
07. Razor's Edge
09. To The Ends Of The Earth
10. Dark Lines
The story of Nottinghamshire new-wave group B-Movie is a long and winding one. Their first incarnation (and brief flirtation with success) lasted from 1979 to the mid '80s, and even in that short space of time there were several line-up and label changes; in fact, material from that era has, if we include later compilations, been spread across at least half a dozen different imprints. There were two brief live reunions in the '00s, (both with different line-ups) and to coincide with them, the extravagantly named 'The Platinum Collection' – that's perhaps pushing it a bit for a band who only had two charting singles in the UK, neither of which broke the top 40. They were, however, more successful abroad, and so their recent reunion (original line-up this time) might not be such a shot in the dark after all.
Their first new material in two decades is no reinvention, with everything on 'The Age Of Illusion' fitting the new-wave and post-punk categories well. B-Movie don't sound dated here though, and had this been released anonymously you'd have no trouble believing it was from a new band who are part of the recent resurgence in these genres: the style may be old, but the production is, largely, more modern. If you were looking for a one word review then it would have to be “solid”. Nothing on the album is here just for the ride, and picking highlights is difficult; not because they're hard to find, but rather because the quality is so consistent. Perhaps 'The Dreamers' or 'Razor's Edge' might be good starting points, although 'Zeitgeist', with its Kraftwerk electronics, is another worth giving a shout-out to.
As a rule, 'The Age Of Illusion' veers more towards the commercial end of the spectrum than the experimental side, so potential enjoyment may depend on how alternative your tastes go. Perhaps the line “other people's lives are more interesting than ours” could be a bit close to the bone in that respect, but the actual song ('Other People's Lives') is a driving and, that word again, solid track that has touches of The Cult and even the early work of Simple Minds or U2, both of whom would go on to become repugnant, despite getting off to good starts. The only real flaw with these 10 tracks is that it feels more like there are about 15 due to the fact that they seem to have set themselves the challenge of making everything at least four minutes in length. Trimming a minute or so off a lot of the songs would arguably make for a more rewarding listen. More anthemic numbers like 'Perfect Storm' are fine as they are though, and with numerous contemporaries returning in recent years with slightly underwhelming offerings, you'd have to say that B-Movie have made their comeback a worthwhile one.
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