17
Nov
06

Boomtown Rats

“Boomtown Rats,” “A Tonic for the Troops,” and “The Fine Art of Surfacing,” 1977—’79. I haven’t listened to these records since maybe 1980 or ’81 AT ALL, so I had the strange experience of having all that time collapse in the part of my mind’s sonic memory as the all too familiar elements of these catchy pop songs mixed with my ear’s subsequent sophistication and deafness. I forgot about “I Don’t Like Mondays,” a song inspired by a school shooting, and I wondered if the more recent version of the band considered doing “Trenchcoat Mafia” or something. There sure are a lot of songs about suicide on these three records. I really can’t handle Bob Geldof’s voice, but there was one song that sounded so achingly like Bowie, it… well, made me want to listen to Bowie. The worst songs are the ones that sound like bad Springsteen imitations that end with sax solos that lapse into sounding like the Saturday Nite Live house band.

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