SOUNDS OF YOUNG NEW YORK II release party with Dominique Keegan and Steve Yanko , part of Synchro with Denise Benson and Andrew Allsgood at Andy Poolhall (489 College), Friday (September 17). $5 before 11 pm, $7 after. 416-923-5300. THE GLASS DJs Dominique Keegan & Glen Brady with ANDREW ALLSGOOD , DMT and BUTROS BUTROS GALI at the Hooch (817 Queen West), Saturday (September 18). $8. 416-73-5069. Rating: NNNNN
Both those for and against the ongoing 80s revival trend will find lots to argue about in Plant Music's release of the The Sound Of Young New York II compilation disc.
While the second in the New York series of state-of-the-club-scene surveys - assembled by Dublin expat DJs Dominique Keegan and Glen Brady - has a much more pronounced guitar rock slant than their first critically acclaimed collection, the overall sound is more 80s retro than ever. After just a quick skip through the 10 tracks, it's not that difficult to guess which 80s act inspired each of the artists represented, particularly with Dead Combo, who don't even bother trying to hide their Suicide fascination, and Elefant, whose love for the Psychedelic Furs is similarly apparent.
"Yeah, it does seem like each band has an 80s parallel," concedes Brady, aka DJ Wool, who edited and engineered the compilation. "But at the same time, there are elements in the sound of the new bands that you won't find in the 80s groups. For me, the beauty of the compilation is that it shows the progression.
"Last week I was in a Farnham studio with a new band and I remarked to the singer that they sounded a lot like Tears for Fears. He looked at me like I had two heads. Even though they were from the same town as Tears for Fears, he'd never heard them before, cuz he's only 21. In rebelling against what was popular for the previous generation, the younger people in bands are now doing exactly what the older generation rebelled against. Everything runs in cycles."
Of course, every artist draws inspiration from what's come before, but that's different from copping another artist's shtick. The Stills may call their track Still In Love Song to spin it as a fond homage to Public Image Limited, but it sounds a little too much like This Is Not A Love Song not to give John Lydon co-writing credit.
"I actually wasn't familiar with the PiL track until I heard Tim Sweeney play it recently," chuckles Keegan. "I thought, 'What the fuck is this, a new remix of Still In Love Song by the Stills?' Then I found out, no, it's Public Image's This Is Not A Love Song! Fuckin' hell!! It makes you wonder if they're paying someone royalties."
The Sound Of Young New York II isn't merely a showcase for their friends. Keegan and Brady have their own project, the Glass, to plug. The Glass reappear on Volume II with the Depeche Mode-style Forever. Since recording the two tracks for the Sound Of Young New York comps, they've evidently morphed into a real live band and are about to take the Glass to the stage. Well, as soon as they finish that long-overdue debut album.
"Dom and I are putting the finishing touches on it as we speak," says Brady. "All the tracks are recorded. We just need to redo a few vocal and guitar parts. So with the mixdown, it should be finished within a month. Really."