3D Picnic

New Wave Party

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Beginning with the proclamation, "There never was such a thing as new wave anyway," Party is a great six-song revisionary romp through some of the early-'80s best new wave. Granted, the opening rip through "Strobelight" by the B-52's isn't that much of a change from the original -- how can one camp up something already so campy? -- but it's still a fun way to lead into the completely revamped "West End Girls," which turns the Pet Shop Boys' slow synth pulse into a wonderfully wild hoedown thrash, complete with Morricone-style guitar. Elsewhere, X's "Los Angeles," retitled "She Had to Leave," gets both Erasure's "A Little Respect" and the Hogan's Heroes theme shoehorned into it, with funhouse organ and a semi-ska beat thrown in for good measure, while Tears for Fears' "Head Over Heels" gets a punky rave-up recasting. The Police's "Message in a Bottle" gets the straight treatment on the chorus, but otherwise is turned into a chaos of squelching noises, bum notes, and rambling vocals, while the Misfits' horror ditty "Skulls" closes things as a sweet acoustic sing-along. Topped with classically silly bandmember pseudonyms like Pinkee Plaid and Quazar, and cover photos showing the quartet in vintage 1982 threads (skinny ties, vinyl pants, you name it), Party is just that, a perfectly silly and entertaining blast of fun.

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