Album review: WANG CHUNG – Tazer Up!

Wang Chung - Tazer Up! [Release date 03.06.13]

Blimey here is a blast from the 80’s, a band I knew from the classic 80’s compilation album ‘American Heartbeat’ with their big hit ‘Dance Hall Days’ (although as one of my fellow melodic rock fans pointed out they were slightly out of place on that album).

The band have been on hiatus for twenty years or so, although the band’s name has entered popular culture thanks to the US verb ‘to Wang Chung’ and exposure via ‘The Simpsons’ amongst others.

The core duo of Jack Hues (vocals/guitar) and Nick Feldman (bass/guitars) are back and this album is fine mix of pop rock and the clever use of keys/synths on the main melodies. ‘London Orbital’ as the band themselves admit on the press release is a glorious throwback to 80’s synth pop of the likes Go West were so good at.

‘Rent Free’ is a single no doubt about it from the catchy drum beat through to the simple, but effective chorus. It has the retro 80’s sound and modern production, what’s not to like? ‘Driving You’ is candy on the ears to a fan of synths like me and the simple beat give the vocals the limelight. Mind you they have to counter the odd crashing guitar chord and OMD-approved keyboard sound.

The band go a bit Pink Floyd on the closing epic ‘Stargazing’ which revolves around a simple melody and features guitar solos Mr Gilmour himself would approve off I am sure. The final song is a souped up remix of their hit ‘Dance Hall Days’ which works well.

If you’re a fan this is for you and those like me who enjoy synth/keyboard led pop rock/ AOR music. Released in time for summer, perfect to blast out …now all we need is the sun!  ****

Jason Ritchie

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