Leaving aside the dark denseness of future pop and the crude chic of electroclash we return to the romantic landscapes of early-80s O.M.D, not the flowing, hook filled pop of those classic early singles, but the charming and almost orchestral mid-paced feel of their ‘Architecture & Morality’ album and period. Warm textured synths and haunting choral vocals with moody overtones blend together to complete the sound of this Canadian trio Invisible College who recently signed for the English Electronic label Hand Held Halo who in turn have released this debut single for the trio. It’s a single that features three tracks with a style and sound that just doesn’t embrace the sadly departed O.M.D and that golden era of the early-80s, but thankfully it’s also a single that’s devoid of endless and pointless dance remixes that so frequently choke the original track rather than simply enhancing it.
In some sense and taking into account both the style of music and the short selection of tracks here we have almost in every aspect come full circle with this single. A single that very much returns to the simplicity and uniqueness of the early-80s, completely ignoring current musical trends to deliver three tracks with the opening track ‘Lift’ beginning with sweeping synths that led into a simple and shuffling mid-paced beat surrounded by warm synths and excellent Andy McCluskey style vocals, despite the fact that it doesn’t have ‘single’ wrote all over it’s still an excellent track. But for me the real highlight here is the lengthy and more dramatic second track ‘Experiments In Vertical Takeoff’, credited to Mr Cluskey on the sleeve itself, this superb and epic track is clearly the best of the three on offer with Its smooth and almost haunting intro giving way to a gentle mid-paced bass while once more being surrounded by warm synths and more excellent vocals. For me this dramatic and almost ballad like track would have been the better and braver choice for the single. The third track ‘Fuel’ recently appeared on the ‘State Of Synthpop’ CD box set, this track is almost a mixture of the opening two tracks in both its pace and dramatic feel, once again its another superb and impressive track with the vocals to match.
Yes, ‘Lift’ is very much a single for the O.M.D fanatics, the purists and those with their taste in music still firmly rooted in the early-80s, but don’t simply place Invisible College in a box marked ‘retro copyists’, this is simply pure admiration for one of the greatest Electronic bands to exist and in turn a single with each track offering an unique and different approach to the present Synth Pop scene. Yes, I may be petty and question the fact that the single merely features just 12minutes of music, but, being old enough to both remember clearly and fondly O.M.D and that golden era, this is simply an excellent single that’s extremely well done with three fantastic tracks. I’ll look forward very much to hearing what they can deliver with an album, but for now don’t over look this very interesting release and promising act.
Artist Link: http://www.handheldhalo.co.uk