Royal Family and the Poor North-West Soul

It seems fashion isn’t the only thing to be making an ’80s revival lately, the opening track of North-West Soul attests to that (holy time warp!). This latest offering (the first in half a decade) from the collective fronted by Liverpudlian Mike Keane is making a grand one too. It’s impossible not to hear strains of Echo and the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, the Cure and even the more mainstream pop offerings of the day inside the tracks of this disc — primarily in the vocals, but it certainly spills into the keyboards and guitars as well. Most of the 13 tracks are upbeat and peppered with ultra retro-sounding synths. The catchiest tunes (including Wandering) are full of vocal experimentation, adding a fresh quality to the "everything old is new again” vibe this disc is drenched in. Originally formed way back in 1978, Keane has seen enough musical revolution and evolution to pick apart the styles and genres of the past two decades and recreate them, that said, the Royal Family & The Poor (these days Keane alone) turns the tables and leaves a pleasant but not groundbreaking or addictive new-again very ’80s sounding instant-nostalgia disc its wake. (Boutique)