If 2016 has indicated anything, it’s that Western civilization is nostalgic for a past that may or may not have existed, and that we’re looking backwards to find hope in our future. The emotional reach that pushed many in the UK to leave the EU and Donald Trump become the Republican nominee, along with pop culture returns of eighties names like Pablo Escobar and David Lynch (Twin Peaks revival anyone?), at the very least indicate something happening within our society’s collective conscience.
Not all nostalgia we’re experiencing happens to be bad though, and Stranger Things happens to be one of those shining bright lights out in our somewhat turbulent year. S U R V I V E, the quartet that consists of Adam Jones, Kyle Dixon, Mark Donica, and Michael Stein, with two of the members crafting the soundtrack for the critically acclaimed Netflix series, are gearing up to release their first full-length for Relapse Records, called RR7349.
RR7349 broods and energizes simultaneously, and the album as a whole could almost work perfectly as a replacement for movies like Drive and Tron. “A.H.B” and “Other” set off the album with energy and vibrance, the type of tracks that could set the tone of the opening title credits in an eighties (or at least eighties influenced) film. The tracks get darker after the introductory tracks; The songs dig deeper and are more ominous in their core, with “Wardenclyffe” and “Low Fog” almost sounding like it could be a Gesaffelstein b-side in it’s subtle hair-raising sounds. “Copter” and “Cutthroat” lighten the mood again, and epically close out the album.
In it’s entirety,RR7349 sounds and feels like an epic eighties journey, neatly packaged into a solvable conflict that is resolved by an outsider hero/heroine. S U R V I V E’s debut full album, paired with their brilliant composing, highlight both the brilliance of their musical style and that the nostalgic analogue synths are still here to stay.