Dan Sartain: Century Plaza

British electro-pop and Suicide missions from Alabama.

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Although Sartain hails from Alabama and has moved in blues circles, the New York gutter ghost of Suicide and Britain’s Depeche Mode hovers over his latest album in the vulnerable vocals, electronic pulses and glacial melodies.

There’s even an attempt at a faithful replication of Alan Vega’s Wipeout Beat. Elsewhere, early-80s British synth-pop blueprints hold sway on the funereal inner-city blues of Cabrini Green and Soft Cell-shadowing Sinking In The Shallow End, with Giorgio Moroder soundtrack ambience coating Feigning Ignorance.

After First Bloods cheekily introduces the cheesy squall of a Van Halen-style guitar solo, Sartain ramraids rinky-dink 80s US radio teen romps on the frenetic Black Party. His rare sense of mischief deserves to be encouraged.

Kris Needs

Kris Needs is a British journalist and author, known for writings on music from the 1970s onwards. Previously secretary of the Mott The Hoople fan club, he became editor of ZigZag in 1977 and has written biographies of stars including Primal Scream, Joe Strummer and Keith Richards. He's also written for MOJO, Record Collector, Classic Rock, Prog, Electronic Sound, Vive Le Rock and Shindig!