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The Spotlight Syndicate-Forget the Static Past

The Spotlight Syndicate

Forget the Static Past

Format: CD   Release Date: 08/04/2003
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Though seemingly influenced by the more accessible side of college rock (echoes of the Cure, the Psychedelic Furs, U2 and the Smiths abound), the Spotlight Syndicate aren't mere-'80s revivalists in the manner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. On songs like "The Turning Nest," the '80s cues -- the one-finger synth lines, prominent snare drums and amps with the "chorus" knob set to 11 -- blend fairly seamlessly with an otherwise emo-derived sense of arrangement and song structure. The result is actually rather refreshing, particularly since the Spotlight Syndicate don't treat the '80s sounds in an archly ironic fashion; "Spotlight Sinners" sounds just like Brix Smith-era the Fall, and the fuzz bassline in "Ash Memory" recalls New Order, simply because they like the Fall and New Order. In fairness, the production could be slightly less bare-boned -- and particularly on Factory Records sound-alike like "The Jonah Complex," the bass really needs to be more prominent -- but overall, Forget the Static Past is both a promising debut and a hint of a compelling new direction for emo as a whole. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi

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