The Contrast

God of Malfunction

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Although God of Malfunction is the Contrast's seventh full-length album, it is technically the British band's debut for the Wicked Cool label. This album follows the 2008 career-spanning comp Perfect Disguise: Introducing the Contrast, also released on Wicked Cool. In that sense, God of Malfunction is a kind of rebirth for a band that -- based on the lyrics in these songs -- has obviously seen its share of ups and downs personally and professionally, which isn't to say the band has forsaken its longstanding roots in '70s-'80s new wave and power pop. On the contrary, lead singer/songwriter David Reid's no nonesense melodic rock approach is well intact, and such songs as the sparkling opener "Underground Ghosts" and rollicking "Good Luck Charms" bring to mind well-earned comparisons to such artists as Elvis Costello and Rockpile. Similarly, such tracks as the chiming "Gone Forever" and the rocking title cut, like much of the rest of God of Malfunction, mix a kind of pyhrric last-ditch rock & roll energy with lyrics about how chaos -- personal, political, or otherwise -- often conspires to drive us nuts despite our best efforts against it. Reid sums up the notion best on the tour anthem "Coming Back to Life," where he croons "I'm spinning my life like a silver coin/And everything fits, but you can still see the joins/And the radio saved my life tonight." Sometimes music and an album like God of Malfunction can do just that.

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