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Catching up with a so-called one-hit-wonder band 29 years down the line is a little like checking in on a former beauty-pageant winner or somebody who got kicked by the president. You wonder how (if) to bring up the hit/win/kick and the indecision quivers in your stomach at first. You find, in this case at least, history doesn't shackle the present. A smile and a nod to the past, perhaps, but this is now. The last time you checked in, you found blind ecstasy ("I've sold my wife/ I've sold my car/ I should be going very far/ I want to cum...") but on the grounds that that was 15 years ago, and many folks grab their inner bliss ninny sooner or later, you're willing to give the relationship another go.

Like many renewed acquaintances, this one leans on clichés at times — "Soundtrack" summons film noir; grab your fog coat and go brood out by the mildewed cobblestones. Some of the rest comes off ornery, not because of the checkered past but because of everyday slights and oversights.

The bit at the end about growing a fin... Metaphor? With everything getting under the skin, inevitable, perhaps, that something would sprout out. The fin seems interesting to everyone at first. Then, it's just something that happens. Everything gets absorbed into the soundtrack. Nobody gets out, but we can have some fun and fancy while it lasts. Is that selling this year?

  • Album: Soundtrack
  • Artist: Modern English
  • Label: Darla Records
  • Songs: (1) It's OK (2) Blister (3) Bomb (4) Soundtrack (5) Call Me (6) Here Comes the Failure (7) The Lowdown (8) Up Here in the Brain (9) Deep Sea Diver (10) Antique Future (11) Fin
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