Thick as Thieves
Somewhere there exists a parallel universe where New Wave is the genre that carried the 80’s instead of Rock. Kraftwerk is fully and completely considered to be the greatest band to come from the 70’s. A Flock of Seagulls are touring again after releasing their 20th record last week. Ian Curtis never took his life and Joy Division is the band everyone wants to be (instead of the band every hipster wants to be). Laydtron’s stunning automation has dominated the pop charts for years. Joy Electric have become absolute legends that became household names in the industry and took MxPx out on tour with them as a favor to old friends. It must exist somewhere. Plastiq Musiq is the place where that universe intersects with ours.
Relic Pop is the latest artist to come out of the Plastiq Musiq family and they fit the post-modern 80’s throwback mold that the label has introduced to us to a capital T. Thick as Thieves is a collection of shimmering glossy synthesizer driven pop songs whose melodies cascade along marching drum machine fills. This is what would happen if the machines ever actually did take over and created their own pop songs. Everything is meticulously placed, each note fitted exactly into place. Every machinated moment on this record is fine-tuned glory. Unfortunately, as is often true for Plastiq Musiq artists, the human voice added to these synthesized sounds is uninspiring. Relic Pop is at their finest when they fully embrace their Gary Neumann vocoder inspired roots. My favorite instance of this is the song “Berlin” a stunning pop anthem carried by the effects layered over Rene Perez’ voice. “Heavy Weight” is another excellent track, again for its upbeat poppy melody and driving synths. The more the machines drive the song with Relic Pop the better they are.
If you have ever wondered what could happen if Ian Curtis fronted a band comprised of members of Ladytron, Soviet & Kraftwerk then Relic Pop is going to be your new favorite thing. If you haven’t yet experienced this alternate 80’s inspired universe, then Relic Pop is a great place for you to start.
Reviewed by: Rob1340