What is it with this continuing obsession for ’80s pop dross that seems to be affecting the big indie bands of recent times? First it was Keane, with their appalling third album, Perfect Symmetry, which stole from A-ha, as well as ’80s Bowie, with its horrible plastic funk sounds.
Then it was Kaiser Chiefs, who ripped off Robert Palmers’s MTV corporate rock-soul monstrosity, Addicted For Love, on their cringe-worthy track Addicted To Drugs, which can be found on their Off With Their Heads album.
If that’s not bad enough, check out the new Killers album, Day and Age – a total homage to the worst decade in popular music. I give you their comeback single, Human, which, not only nicks its title from the Human League’s most awful ever moment – the schmaltzy, insipid Jam & Lewis-produced ballad Human – but also sounds like Duran Duran trying to fit in at a rave.
It gets worse. Listen to Day and Age and you’ll find there’s plenty more songs that hark back to the insipid ’80s, chiefly the poor opening track, Losing My Touch – again an Addicted to Love rip-off – as well as the excruciating Europop of Spaceman, the blatant copy of Talking Heads’s Road To Nowhere that is This Is Your Life, the dreadful calypso and sax monstrosity that is I Can’t Stay and the embarrassing piece of synth-rock The World We Live In, which sounds like Wax’s Building A Bridge To Your Heart, for f***’s sake.
Getting ironic, ’80s obsessive Stuart Price in to produce the album was a dreadful mistake. He’s smeared his horribly naff, cheesy electronic sounds all over it – just like he did with Madonna. I like The Killers when they sound like New Order – not, ahem, New Edition.
Even Franz Ferdinand have dragged out the retro ’80s keyboards for their disappointing new single, Ulysses, which tries to make up for the lack of a decent tune by bombarding us with loads of bleeps, bloops and squelching sounds.
It’s not just the big, established indie groups who are getting in on the act, either. Look at new sensation LadyHawke – another act that sounds like she’s spent far too many nights socialising at Club Tropicana. I know the drinks are free, but that’s simply not a good enough excuse.
If it’s get any worse, we’ll have to call the, err, Miami Vice squad in.