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When Punk Got the Funk

As punks were looking for some potential pathways out of the cul-de-sacs of their limited soundscapes, they saw in funk a way to expand the punk palette without sacrificing either their ethos or idea(l)s.

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Music

A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.

Music

Electropop's Cut Copy Discuss New Album 'Freeze, Melt' As They Continue to Evolve

In advance of their sixth studio album, we spoke with Cut Copy's Dan Whitford about Freeze, Melt, and the road the electropop group took to get to where they are.

Music

The Pretenders' 'Hate for Sale' Maintains a Formidability That Rejects Compromise

On Hate for Sale, the Pretenders maintain an unapologetic devotion to the sound which defined their success.

Music

The Psychedelic Furs' 'Made of Rain' Is Their First Album in Nearly 30 Years

The first album in three decades from the Psychedelic Furs beats expectations just one track in with "The Boy That Invented Rock and Roll".

Music

Talking Heads' Chris Frantz Doesn't Miss a Beat With 'Remain in Love' Story

There's a whole lotta love (and maybe a little hate) in the captivating new memoir by Chris Frantz, who is an open book while talking about life with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, and wife Tina Weymouth in this candid interview.

Music

Counterbalance 25: Television - 'Marquee Moon'

Television’s 1977 masterpiece Marquee Moon is the 25th Greatest Album of All Time, but is it too “too too” to put a finger on? Counterbalance sees it all backward.

Music

'Stratoplay' Revels in the Delicious New Wave of the Revillos

Cherry Red Records' six-disc Revillos compilation, Stratoplay, successfully charts the convoluted history of Scottish new wave sensations.

Music

The Alarm Get Anthemic on "Ghosts of Rebecca's" Soaring Folk-Rock (premiere)

Welsh "new wave" band the Alarm return with a folk-rock anthem in "Ghosts of Rebecca" and a stirring new album, STREAM [Hurricane of Change].

Music

Unite and Fight! England's Punk-Reggae Hybrid

When Bob Marley went to London in 1977 he discovered, documented, and reveled in the punky reggae party.

Music

Buzzcocks' 1996 Album 'All Set' Sees the Veteran Band Stretching Out and Gaining Confidence

After the straightforward and workmanlike Trade Test Transmissions, Buzzcocks continued to hone their fresh identity in the studio, as exhibited on the All Set reissue contained on the new box-set Sell You Everything.

Music

Buzzcocks' 1993 Comeback 'Trade Test Transmissions' Showed Punk's Great Survivors' Consistency

PopMatters' appraisal of Buzzcocks continues with the band's proper comeback LP, Trade Test Transmissions, now reissued on Cherry Red Records' new box-set, Sell You Everything.

Music

'Sell You Everything' Brings to Light Buzzcocks '1991 Demo LP' That Passed Under-the-Radar

Cherry Red Records' new box-set issued in memory of Pete Shelley gathers together the entire post-reunion output of the legendary Buzzcocks. Across the next week, PopMatters explores the set album-by-album. First up is The 1991 Demo LP.

Music

10 Key Tracks From the British Synthpop Boom of 1980

It's 40 years since the first explosion of electronic songs revitalized the UK charts with futuristic subject matter, DIY aesthetics, and occasionally pompous lyrics. To celebrate, here's a chronological list of those Moog-infused tracks of 1980 that had the biggest impact.

Music

The 1975's 'Notes on a Conditional Form' Is Laudably Thought-Provoking and Thrilling

The 1975 follow A Brief Inquiry... with an even more intriguing, sprawling, and chameleonic song suite. Notes on a Conditional Form shows a level of unquenchable ambition, creativity, and outspoken curiosity that's rarely felt in popular music today.

Reviews

Sparks Still Ignite with 'A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip'

After nearly 50 years and two dozen albums, Sparks continue their reign of resonantly quirky art pop-rock delights on A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip.

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

The Cure's "Seaside" Cure for Sheltering at Home

In these times of pandemic turmoil and outright trauma, what better match does the tempestuous human soul have than the sea? And what better lyricist than the Cure's Robert Smith, who twins the wrath (or sadness) of the sea with similar human emotions?

Music

The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums Ever: Part 3, Echo & the Bunnymen to Lizzy Mercier Descloux

This week we are celebrating the best post-punk albums of all-time and today we have part three with Echo & the Bunnymen, Cabaret Voltaire, Pere Ubu and more.

Music

Go-Go's Bassist Kathy Valentine Is on the "Write" Track After a Rock-Hard Life

The '80s were a wild and crazy time also filled with troubles, heartbreak and disappointment for Go-Go's bass player-guitarist Kathy Valentine, who covers many of those moments in her intriguing dual project that she discusses in this freewheeling interview.

Music

The Boomtown Rats' 'Citizens of Boomtown' Is a Failed Stab at Relevance

After listening to the Boomtown Rats' Citizens of Boomtown, you can't help but wonder if another vanity project is the kind of activism we need to combat the injustices of the world.

Music

La Roux Returns Without 'Supervision'

La Roux's Supervision is a testament to propelling forward, even if its sounds take you backward, and knowing that good synthpop will never go out of style.

Music

The Homesick Make a Big Noise on 'The Big Exercise'

Dutch post-punk, pop trio the Homesick blend a host of influences, from Scott Walker to Meredith Monk, in with their kaleidoscopic sound on their second album, The Big Exercise.

Music

The Revillos Reprise Their DayGlo Pop-Rock on ​'Compendium of Weird'

A collection of ragged rehearsal recordings, out-takes, and alternate versions that is actually worth the price of admission? The Revillos have pulled it off.

Music

Pet Shop Boys Deliver Another Glorious, Smart, and Relevant Pop Album with 'Hotspot'

Four decades in the music business is no small feat, and yet the Pet Shop Boys enter the new decade sounding just as current and catchy as the pop landscape they helped construct.

Books

Morris Day Gives the Reader a Funky Take on a Life in Funk with 'On Time'

Day built his everything on top of Prince's everything, and it's no secret. In his memoir, On Time, he channels the superstar to enjoyable effect.

Music

With a New Covers Project, Juliana Hatfield Sets Her Sights on the Police

Continuing her take on artist-themed covers albums, Juliana Hatfield takes a stab at the Police songbook, with unique, marvelous results.

Music

OMD at 40: Making Sense of a Synthpop Legacy

OMD's first three albums were crucial in the development of ambitious, intellectual, art-pop. They also led to the emergence of a whole generation of electronic pop groups that have continually influenced artists up to this day.

Events

New Order in Berlin: Timeless and Timely

In Berlin, dance-rock legends New Order prove once again why their music draws attention nearly 40 years on.

Music

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark: Souvenir [40th Anniversary Box Set]

British synthpop pioneers, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark mark 40 great years with a singles collection and vault-emptying box set.

Music

Metronomy Create Some of Their Best Music on ​​'Metronomy Forever'​​

Ranging in tone and style, Metronomy's Metronomy Forever feels like a spiritual successor to their second album Nights Out.

Music

Stereo Total Offer Dancing, Dreaming, and Drugs, with a Hint of "Da Da Da"

Eurotrash bargain basement new wave dance pop, with the occasional moody detour, is business as usual for Stereo Total, and business is good on Ah! Quel Cinéma!

Music

Prefab Sprout's Audacious Pop of 1984-92 Is Illuminated on Four Vinyl Re-issues

On remastered and reconfigured versions of Prefab Sprout LPs Swoon, From Langley Park to Memphis, Jordan: The Comeback, and A Life of Surprises, songs involving a chess grandmaster, Springsteen, Elvis, Jesse James, God and Lucifer get a deserved new lease of life.

Music

Ric Ocasek and the Cars: Just What We Needed

That mullet, those shades, the slender build, and his angular mug in those epic videos from the days when MTV ruled. The Cars' Ric Ocasek was the picture boy of '70s and '80s new wave / power pop.

Music

Synthpop Pioneer Fad Gadget's Music Is Finally Back in Release

The singular synth/industrial/performance art innovator and provocateur Fad Gadget influenced Depeche Mode and scores of others, but never really got his due.

Music

The B-52s 30-year Anniversary Re-Issue of 'Cosmic Thing' Keeps the Party Going

With Cosmic Thing, the B-52s launched into the big time, shooting up the national album and singles charts with "Channel Z", followed by "Love Shack" and "Roam".

Music

Bananarama Turn Up the 'Stereo' for Their First Album in 10 Years

British pop legends Bananarama return with their first new music in 10 years and they tell us about their latest work as well as their lengthy career that took off in the 1980s.

Music

The 100 Greatest Alternative Songs of the '80s

One of our most popular series ever, this 2015 list of the 1980s best "alternative" music has it all, from new wave to punk and post-punk to goth.


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