Album review: RADAR – Lost In The Atlantic

RADAR – Lost In The Atlantic

Escape Music [Release date 19.02.21]

Escape Music have a knack of uncovering long lost albums, or in the case of Radar, one that has never had a proper release until now.

Radar was formed in 1981 by David West (keyboards, drum programming), Rod Jordan (vocals, bass) and Gary Stevenson (guitars). They built their own studio, Secret Studios, and the band started recording their debut album in 1985.

In tandem Gary Stevenson was also producing other bands at Secret studios, one of them being the then unknown duo called Go West (Gary also used David West on this project). Go West signed with Chrysalis Records, kept Gary as their producer and went on to win the ‘Best Newcomers’ at the 1985 Brit Awards.

Radar were happy to hold back the release of their album and use the success of Gary’s production works with various bands to promote an upcoming release. Hindsight is a wonderful thing as momentum was lost and the Radar album was never released, until now.

Radar have that distinctive 80’s synth pop sound, unsurprisingly sounding like Go West! ‘The Calling Time’ and ‘Going Overboard’ being prime examples, and on the latter Rod Jordan’s vocals sound a little like Nik Kershaw. That song is one of a couple to feature the sax playing of Mel Collins.

Go West’s Peter Cox appears as a backing vocalist on ‘Olympic Runner’. This song uses various effects – runner’s breathes, crowd noises – to good effect. ‘A Trick Of The Light’ is full of chopping guitar riffs and plenty of synths, recalling Saga in their mid-80’s pomp. ‘The Calling Time’ is another synth led delight and a chance to show off the melodic vocals of Rod Jordan. Sadly it seems he didn’t record much more after Radar, although you can find him on Soundcloud

If you enjoy the 80s synth pop of Go West and Nik Kershaw then this album will be right up your musical street. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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