obvious from the first notes of the title track that The Suburbs are hearkening
back to a time when New Wave ruled the roost.Thanks to genre forging releases from American bands and the UK outfits,
the signature sound was forged in stone.What you might not know is that The Suburbs was among that first tier of
the new wave movement. In this opener they cement all of the various components
of the sound into place; chunky, funky bass guitar, stop/start guitar riffs
with a punk/new wave/reggae kind of groove, well-aimed percussion and a strong
lead vocal leading the way to pure bliss.It sets the tone for the excellent tunes to come.
You on the Dance Floor” has a hip-shaking, reggae-infused guitar stingers
interpreted via ska, new wave and punk that really stick in the craw…The dark yet breezy bass lines and driving
drum beats n’ slinky snare fills craft night sky imagery as each element is
sewn together by the starry synths and the juxtaposition of the impacting lead
vocals and heavily manipulated female background melodies.Combine a punk band, a mariachi band and Dire
Straits then you will get the steamy, fizzy boil of “Je Suis Strange.”There are vibes culled from hard rock,
wandering riffage heavy on the ethereal twang, top tier vocal trade-offs,
trumpet accoutrements and one of the album’s strongest lyrical
arrangements.A funk-leaned, rock n’
roll swing is employed on the blue-eyed strut of “Lovers.”This mid-tempo cut is propelled by swooping
bass guitar lunges and keyboard bass double while the brass interjects and the
vocals answer with another set of contagious verses/choruses.The Suburbs prove that they can manage any
type of different tempo and make it seem easy all throughout Hey Muse!
a major in new wave the band’s has honor-roll minors in every other genre; the
funk punk, guitar heavy jamming of “Can’t Take You Back” and “Unified Force”
rocking a bit harder than anything else, “Our Love” making a tropical splash
with conga style percussion dancing to watery synths and growly horns, “Cupid”
turning to vintage 80s new wave for a strictly vintage representation of the
sound, “Butterfly” drifting off into an ocean of sparse, arid synths and somber
vocals that allow the penultimate “When We Were Young” returning to the aural
feel of the band’s earliest releases.
Hey Muse! contains 10
tracks and there’s not a bad one in the bunch.The alchemical origins of the band’s sound are truly old school new wave
but the band isn’t afraid to incorporate whatever style is needed to balance
the songwriting mixture.All killer, no
filler, this album is a downright winner.