Ok, so this should probably be on Lost Bands of The New Wave Era but to hell with all that classification stuff, I want it as my own baby.
Units – High Pressure Days
I don’t really know enough about Units, but would like to know more(hint – show off your musical knoledge in the comments box below!). They didn’t really register on the musical radar in the UK.
Apparently in 1979 Units opened for every one in America, from the Dead Kennedys to The Go-Go’s. This track is short and sweet and from 415 Records (also home to Romeo Void) who released their first LP Digital Stimulation. I got it cos the sleeve looked nice.
They had a bigish hit with The Right Man , produced by Tube’s Michael Cotton, on new New York label – Uproar, so some of you American readers may be more aware of them.
This is such a piece of classy ass new wave. Early Talking Heads would have been challenged to make such a goodie but never would. It’s far too electronic for them, and probably too straigh forward trying to be pop.
It’s from that time when guitarists tried to make their guitars sound like keyboards for the first time (technically know as ‘loosing my edge syndrome’).
The relentless keyboard part is all out 80’s – as all the best new wave bands do – and i really like the bits when the keyboards are stuck through a distortion pedel giving it a slightly Eddie Van Halen feedback sound (although they were probably trying to ape Carlos Alomar more). Why thrash a guitar fast and punky, when you can do it on the keyboard?
Americans must have been way freaked out by all these Europeans playing keyboards at em, and mostly using one finger. It’s not like Stevie Wonder plays you know! The producer of the track has obviously discovered stereo panning and the synth’s swoop in good and hard (Feel yerself pushing the filter on that Juno…..ooo..sweet).
They sing about molecules and particles and patterns which I always like. It sounds like it should be a political song, but comes across as serious as The League’s Lebanon. I think it’s basically about the high pressure of a bustling big city life, and they compare this to all the little atoms and stuff bumping into each other.
Any chemists lab would be proud to hold these little hyperactive gems I recon.