Oh, the eighties are cool again, are they? What, with the Second Coming of Gary Numan, and the current trend for metal bands to acknowledge New Romantics as their primary influences (take Deftones, for example…), one might be wise to predict an onslaught of retro-synth-rockers in the near future. Indeed, we already have bands like Godhead, who seem to be the bastard offspring of Depeche Mode and the Sisters of Mercy.
Sorry guys. Inaura got there first. Inaura were at the centre of the New Romantic resurgence which brightened up our capital in the mid-90s, and was rudely ignored by the mainstream press. “One Million Smiles” is a stunning collection of intelligent and upbeat New Romanticised pop-rock songs, like Trent Reznor after a particularly satisfying night of passion, or Soft Cell remixing Honeycrack. “100 Degrees” is a pure rock opener with a trance backing and guitar-led chorus. Cliched though it is, you can’t help loving Matt Carey as he sings, “Step on the gas/ And never look back.”
And so continues the album, through the hypnotic “Virus” and first single “Soap Opera”. “This Moths Epic” is exactly as the title suggests, a trance-like eight-minute voyage through a twisted mind (“I tried to be an angel but I’m just a whore”), powerful and delicate at once. “Desire” is a cute little poppy number with a hook to die for, hit single material if ever I heard it.
The title track is the first of two mellower tracks (“2-5 AM” being the second) which show a more mature side to the band. Smooth, bleak synth merges with the hypnotic bass to draw the listener further into the domain of Inaura. “Coma Aroma” is another massive hit single, there but for the grace of God (and the support of EMI). “Las Vegas Leg” is disco-metal of the highest quality. And then yet another highlight, the hugely anthemic “90’s Itch”, a throwback to the band’s first stint on Org Records, under the name Poloroid. An updated and re-recorded version, this is the song that sums up the album. A four minute epic, with a pop chorus and big rock guitars, and a synth verging on the industrial. Mature, but delightfully basic.
And to end it all, another huge epic, “Sense”. And intro straight out of the Chemical Brothers’ book, and a bleak synth landscape with lyrics which define the album. “Retro, reflect, respect and resurrect” could almost be Inaura’s rasion d’etre.
10Nick Lancaster.'s Score