Pseudo Echo


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The consensus among critics in the early '80s was that video-oriented acts like Pseudo Echo were concert stiffs, all MTV flash and no rock & roll grit. What they didn't understand was that new romantics such as Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, and Pseudo Echo did not abide by rock conventions. There are no eardrum-shattering feedback or pounding drum solos on Pseudo Echo's Teleporter, a two-CD set featuring a live performance from the Australian new wave group. Instead, the band doesn't stray from their formula -- high-styled Euro-disco with deep, heavily accented vocals, beeping synthesizers, and dark riffs. Recorded a decade after the '80s ended, Pseudo Echo has not lost their sense of cool. Songs from the group's debut LP, Autumnal Park, such as the seductive "Dancing Until Midnight" and "His Eyes," are resurrected with thankfully no modern touches; they are beautifully dated artifacts from an exciting time in music. The band includes their finest songs, everything from club hits like "A Beat for You" and "Listening" to little-known jewels such as "See Through" and "Stranger in Me." But that's on disc two. On disc one, Pseudo Echo shows that they can still drink from new romantic waters, diving into early-'80s nostalgia on newer tracks like "Hope I Go to Heaven" and "1985." Although some rave touches creep in, vocalist Brian Canham still knows how to carve sharp hooks. "1985, love was alive/1986, better than this," Canham argues on "1985," lamenting how music has gone downhill since the '80s, a rallying cry that will no doubt be echoed by the group's fans.

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