Band: The Bell
Album: Great Heat
Rating: 4 out of 5
By Aaron Binder
The 80’s, oh dear gods, the 80’s. An era of excess, ridiculous haircuts and even more ridiculous music. For every Devo or Queen there was at least one Culture Club and Men Without Hats, which creates an odd paradigm when speaking about the quality of music from an era of music that lived in extremes.
Whatever your opinion on the era, enough current musicians enjoy it to the point where they will base a good chunk of their sound on it. With their full length Great Heat coming out on April 12, fans of cathartic and ethereal sounding stuff like The Cure, Joy Division, Morrissey and Bauhaus have a lot to rejoice about.
Harkening back to a day where synthesizers were king and a song without vocal reverb was considered edgy, The Bell has capitalized on what made much of the music great while cutting out a lot of the fluff that made it not so great. Focusing on well written songs with simple progressions and a big sound, The Bell has managed to turn a throwback sound into modern enjoyment.
It is quite rare that a band puts something out that can be appreciated by music snobs and dance til’ 4 am types, just like Culture Club and Queen, the two don’t usually mesh very well. I’ll be the first music snob to admit dancing around in my underwear to this. Heavy on synthesizer, punctuated by big bass hooks and rife with beats that force your hips to move, there is no shortage of danceable grooves on this album.