I have previously considered The Comsat Angels, one of the most nimble British post-punk bands of the '80s at combining keyboards and guitars in a lyrical way, for a feature in this space. I can't precisely say why it's taken so long for me to spotlight this band, other than vaguely blaming the centrally flighty nature of nonlinear brain functions. Nevertheless, now is the time to give this fine quartet its due - or at least a portion of that abstract notion.
Unfortunately, one remains highly unlikely to hear The Comsat Angels on a typical '80s flashback radio station, as the too-familiar tracks and biggest hits continue to dominate such limited playlists. On the other hand, it took me just a couple of minutes to hear the excellent 1984 single "You Move Me" while doing a random tour of the wonderful expanse of Internet radio. As this track demonstrates, The Comsat Angels' brand of post-punk is undoubtedly a muscular, full-bodied one, dependent as much on creative guitar riffs as the synthesizer strains that somehow earned the band a less than accurate label as a synth pop group. But this particular song - and perhaps even more the band's earliest work during the new wave era - clearly proves that this band immediately offers a far richer palette than categorization could hope to capture. In turns brooding and atmospheric, this tune also spends plenty of its running time projecting a uniquely soulful approach to early alternative music and the burgeoning movement known as modern rock. Of course, it doesn't hurt either that the band happens to feature a bass player called Kevin Bacon and a keyboard player, Andy Peake, who sports a pretty damn stylish surname. But those details, though compelling, are beside the point when it comes to ongoing '80s music appreciation.
- Sample or download a demo version of "You Move Me" here.
- Listen to the extended version of "You Move Me" here.
- Compare prices on Comsat Angels CDs here.
- Robyn Hitchcock Artist Profile
- Top 10 English Artists of the '80s
Album Cover Image Courtesy of Jive