Album: Blue Wave
Record Label: Last Gang Records
Release Date: 31st March 2016
It's by now an assertion carved in stone, even within the snobbier climbs of the blogosphere and music industry, that music doesn't always have to be innovative to be worthwhile. Given that the title of Operators' debut LP, Blue Wave, may be an unashamedly self-aware bout of navel gazing with regards to the respective band members' own record collections, the desire to write decent, resonant tunes definitely presides over the want to open any new envelopes here. With that thought in tandem, Blue Wave is a record that mostly understands how to make great, simplistic song-writing strong.
At almost every turn, Blue Wave is informed by its heritage; opener 'Rome' is full of reverb-laden, lightweight Cure-esque atmospherics. The title track is a languid, warm venture reminiscent of mysterious Scandinavian synth duo Studio covering a Wham! song, and there's pounding but warped Depeche Mode-esque darkness on 'Bring Me The Head'.
For an album so reverential though it's actually the two most forward-thinking moments that prove to be highlights. 'Control' is a properly banging marriage of futuristic, Daft Punk-style roboticism and synth-work firmly based in the past, while 'Mission Creep' is propelled by tribal, off-kilter drumming and dissonant, slightly industrial-tinged keys.
Though some tunes do pale due to being slightly more in awe and less forthright, much of the craft of Blue Wave is bouncy, catchy and intricate. There are hints of a proper progressive element to Operators' vision on the best moments here as well, meaning that future albums have the potential to be thrilling.
Key Tracks: 'Mission Creep', 'Control', 'Bring Me The Head'
For Fans Of: Holy Ghost!, New Order