Fans of the NEW and NOW, please forgive me. There's no new release to hang this article on as a consumer announcement, no new nostalgia trip to accompany the exhumation/rehabilitation of another back-catalog. I put off writing this article for months now because of my own inescapable burn out with the newfound public fascination with post-punk. All this time passed and it shows little signs of abating. DFA, nu-electro, the revival of that old critical black magic (scything, angular, danceable)...the late 70s/early 80s are IN!, have been in, will continue to be in (will they ever be out?...surely an odd turn of events when one surveys the landscape of the American indie early 90s where hordes of shaggy young men clutching Lubricated Goat 7"s howled about the horror that was the 80s, the synthesizer, the 12" dance mix.)
It's a cliché even this soon to say that this nu-p-punk revival has focused on the most easily accessed totems from the "original" era: death disco snare patterns, early MTV blue screen & mascara irony, the painful pull of that warm analogue nostalgia. But so what? What's so wrong with a little cheap glamour, a little easy retro, a few crassly tossed about signifiers with little actually being signified? A: absolutely nothing. This is at least one way - albeit a rather easy and banal one - to read "pop" as a whole. And surely, even with exhaustion factored in, ZTT/Ze Records/Depeche/Pop Group riffs are certainly fresher than yet another garage rock go-round.