By Jake Paxton
I was excited to review Shift Age by The Great Void, which is in association with a great project called Hooray For Earth. I knew to expect a lot of keyboard-heavy jams and I was disappointed in believing so. This album is very much on an 80s callback with a modern twist, which might have seen more commercial success in the early 2000s but is appearing now instead, and is stamped DEAL WITH IT.
The album kicks off with a track called "Time One". It is a very dancy, club-worthy tune, and I can imagine someone losing their precious virgin sanctuary in some sloppy roommate infested dorm to this. If you haven't heard the group yet, the beginning track may be where you begin and end as it's definitely single-worthy. "Medicine Ball" appears to be about the conundrum of weighing the options of having relations with a girl who is not yet 21 years old. The singer toys with the idea, but inevitably makes a very vague decision claiming that he will be her "medicine ball". I do not claim to understand what that means.
The album goes into "Slackstar"; a song about an unambitious youth with squandered dreams, and I begin to think that the 80s callback has overstayed its welcome and that the hits may have been stacked early. Songs like "Company" that the genre a bit more, reminding you perhaps of the sound texture reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem. There is not a plethora of lyrical content but the rhythm is what really drives the song.
This album is definitely recommended to fans of The Sisters of Mercy. With "Shift Age (Pt 1)" and "Shift Age (Pt 2)", you see the meanings of something conceptual and deliberate. A Flock of Seagulls fan base unite in the depth of this particular record.
The record ends abruptly with the tune "You Can Do What You Want (v2)" which in my opinion is a very strong single. It always impresses when a group has the gall end on a strong note as praised, opposed to leading heavy with hits and storing B-sides behind. I could list a few bands that end their album strong, but what first comes to mind is Arctic Monkeys' first three albums. If you've only just gotten into AM, you've got a long backward journey to go. And if this record suits you, I'd imagine some LCD Soundsystem run-backs are in order.