Cherish the Light Years
In 2003, if you would’ve told me that the singer from American Nightmare would eventually break edge, move to San Diego, do a metric ton of coke and write dance tunes for Pitchfork kids to off themselves to, I would’ve cried and then moshed you into a traffic median. No lie … but times change, edges dull and we realize that our Livejournal pages amount to little more than incoherent blathering. I’ll say it now: I love this band. Cherish the Light Years plays out like an eighties smorgasbord of forlorn goth poetics, throbbing with dance floor schizophrenia and a glittering coat of synthetic robo-soul. “The Great Pan is Dead” babbles and hisses like soaring psychedelia lost in a darkwave sludge pit, “Icons of Summer” could easily pass for a mainstream radio smash and the bubbling “Confetti” keeps working itself up, bigger and bigger, into full blown twinkling “stuck-in-your-head-for-days” histrionics. Credit Wes Eisold’s woeful bleating, Chris Goady’s swollen production or the current cultural obsession with all things “retro,” but for an album with this many derivative sonic calling cards, it boasts a stunning degree of depth and character, slyly following the leaden blueprint of its angular forbearers, plumbing errant depths when necessary, occasionally straying into un-ironic stadium-pop side roads. Digital humanity, icy warmth, shimmering sludge. Echoes of future-past. You see that gaggle of emotionally retarded space goths working each other into corybantic frenzy? That flock of electric sheep crying for their test tube mamas? The brassy timbre of those melting ice caps? The hysterical sighs of suffocating planets? Morrissey fronting the Happy Mondays in the heart of Saturn’s sun? Of course you don’t … not yet. Just keep at it, and don’t stop until “Underworlds USA” becomes your new cocaine-marathon anthem, and every Tumblr goon with a Supreme hat sells off his American Nightmare reunion ticket. Dorks.