B-Movie

Radio Days

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    8
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Released as the counterpart to the Remembrance Day compilation, Radio Days, as the title suggested, covers BBC broadcast sessions from the band's early-'80s existence. Consisting of a Peel session, another in-studio performance on BBC DJ Richard Skinner's show, and a very early local radio appearance, and with no track repetition, it equals (if not surpasses) the regular studio cuts. The first four tracks come from the Peel session, and they're all winners, neatly showcasing the band's nervy edge of post-punk drive a la the Comsat Angels, balancing a cool synth sheen against understated rock power. "Polar Opposites" begins the set with its mix of low and high keyboard drones, while "All Fall Down" gets a commanding run-through, its unsettling synth lines and pulsing crunch making it the equal of other early-'80s nuclear paranoia classics as the Sound's "Missiles" and the Chameleons' "Up the Down Escalator." The Skinner cuts include a beautiful version of the band's signature cut "Nowhere Girl," its memorable keyboard hook even more prominent. Another track of note is the almost Bunnymen-like "Love Me," with its bongo-like opening percussion leading into a garage/psych jam. The local radio session tracks, recorded shortly after the band formed in 1980, includes a brisk version of "Remembrance Day," at once more spooky and slightly more goofy than the studio take, and an amiably energetic "Spirit of the Age," with a great closing jam that indeed sounds like they were trying to capture just that.

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