Posts Tagged ‘Parked In Hell’

Business of Dreams – “Keep The Blues Away”

Business of Dreams’ debut was a favorite around here when it came out a couple of years back, so its good to see Corey Cunningham (Terry Malts, Smokescreens) get the bump up to Slumberland from his own Parked in Hell label for album number two. The first taste of Ripe For Anarchy swims in similar waters to that debut – rifling through the racks of C86 alumni, Creation Records deep cuts and Sarah Records compilation faves for just the right pang. “Keep The Blues Away” is smeared and dreaming, rolling on the bed in heartache and procrastinating the thought of going out for fear of being overwhelmed. Cunningham has a penchant for pop, but he buries the bursts under a half ton of velvet curtains in the guise of Business of Dreams. I’m all for the advancement of introvert synthpop in 2019. Can’t wait for more of this.




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Magic Bullets – Young Man’s Fancy

Young Man’s Fancy, a deposed album from lost summer janglers Magic Bullets, is only from about a decade ago but the influence stretches back to the heart of new wave and jangle-pop. It feels like a collection wrenched out of time, heir apparent to records from Echo to Orange Juice to The Chesterfields and, naturally, The Smiths. The band is nothing if not studied in it’s appropriation of their predecessors’ complete trappings. The members would dilute their devotion to this level of absolute homage with stints in Terry Malts, Real Estate, The Mantles, Girls, Dominant Legs and Wild Nothing, but here, lodged between their two albums, they are rabid in their affection and affectation of the ’80s own heartbeats.

While the stylistic devotion is definitely something that dogged the band, they wore their love on their sleeve, wholeheartedly starry eyed but striving. The songs crib largely from material that would end up on their sophomore release, but in earlier forms here, it’s’ still pristine but somehow also unpolished in it’s delivery. The band would splinter years later with members going on to larger acclaim, but this is a picture of their youth incarnate. Corey Cunningham’s (Terry Malts, Business of Dreams) Parked in Hell has a tape version of the collection available now for those that have missed out. Close your eyes and any of these could slot right into a mix of your own favorite gems from the ’80s underground, and as a whole, its pretty solid as scrappers looking to capture a time they missed.






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Business of Dreams

Taking a sidestep from the crunch-pop of his day gig in Terry Malts, Corry Cunningham dives longingly into synthpop with convincing conviction. The eponymous album, released on his own imprint, Parked In Hell, captures an aesthetic that mines the early aughts’ love for the mid-80s. He’s got all the right hints of smeared window pane synth, 2 A.M. headspace-wandering jangles and lightly lapping beats that nudge the feet forward but don’t inspire any dance breakouts. Now on their own, those are hallmarks that dog-eared many acts in the wake of Ben Gibbard’s sudden affection for crying over keys vs. strings, and the shift has clotheslined many well-intentioned songwriters over the years. But getting it right, without feeling overly sappy or bogged down in influences takes a hard case.

Cunningham brushes off the flys of doubt, divining the core melancholy that makes this sort of synthpop work and he combines it with an approach that goes for subtlety over flash. He’s not necessarily reaching for hits territory, but he’s found a home between texture and temperance. The record winds up as aural comfort food, a smirking nod to those that always return to certain corners of the Factory, Creation and Sarah Records shelf when things look dour. In that regard I think the only true praise here is just a wordless nod in the night as we pass Cunningham walking around, hat pulled tight and breath rising cold into the street lamps. He might be right, “the world wasn’t made for us.”



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