Want List: B-Movie – The Age Of Illusion

No Emb Blanc | GER | CD | 2013 | NEB 015

No Emb Blanc | GER | CD | 2013 | NEB 015

B-Movie: The Age Of Illusion GER CD [2013]

  1. Age Of Illusion
  2. Other People’s Lives
  3. Perfect Storm
  4. She’s A Car Crash
  5. Zeitgeist
  6. The Dreamers
  7. Razor’s Edge
  8. Echoes
  9. To The Ends Of The Earth
  10. Dark Lines

Holy frijoles! I was out of commission for a patch and yet, the world kept turning. I was recently at my Discogs.com home page and my feed revealed new material by the ever so admirable B-Movie. German label No Emb Blanc are issuing 2013 music this summer and there’s no shortage of activity on the long-dormant B-Movie front! The new long player is their second one ever, following 1985’s “Forever Running.” The band just drifted apart following their lack of influence in the UK charts and I have projects by members Rick Holliday and Paul Statham in the Record Cell, but vocalist Steve Hovington was completely off of my radar for the last 28 years. No longer though! As if this album weren’t enough, there is also an EP of non-LP material also released.

No Emb Blanc | GER | CD5 | 2013 | NOB 013

No Emb Blanc | GER | CD5 | 2013 | NOB 013

B-Movie: Distant Skies GER CD5 [2013]

  1. So Far Away
  2. Fugitives
  3. My Old Friend Loneliness
  4. Careful Of Dreams

What’s that you say, not enough activity for your B-Movie starved ears? Well, then fret no more because lead vocalist Steve Hovington also has a solo album out on iTunes dating back a few weeks! But how did this eruption of B-Movie occur out of the blue? Apparently, Steve Hovington saw a John Foxx concert a decade ago, and mused that perhaps B-movie could be reactivated, so as to give it another shot. . By 2013, Hovington and guitarist Paul Statham had managed to enlist synth player Rick Holliday and drummer Graham Boffey for pure B-Movie DNA to come kicking and screaming into the 21st century. So this is uncut B-movie. No filler. How does it sound?

Answer: It sounds pretty damn sweet! The band are still mining their Foxx/Vox inspired seam of ore significantly well. In fact, has Steve Hovington ever sounded better? I think not. I’d go so far to suggest that this material smokes their 1985 album, and builds on the promise of their early work on Dead Good Records in spades. Hovington felt that their single album was a tad overproduced, though in the 1985 zeitgeist they were far ahead of most of the competition, who were busy releasing their worst music ever. But this work manages to capture the zest of their Dead Good/Some Bizzare era with improved production values albeit stopping short of the sheen that Stephen Stewart-Short applied to “Forever Running.” There’s no shortage of texture here. This is al dente music! Let’s hear more, shall we?

I always liked B-Movie from first listen. I picked up an issue of Flexipop to get the Soft Cell flexidisc on it back in 1981. I’d read about Soft Cell and was curious. Stevo managed to wrangle B-Movie into the B-side slot, and their tune “Remembrance Days” was even better than Soft Cell in my opinion. It had that crackle of early Ultravox; who were clearly a [good] influence on the band, sonically, but they managed to eke out their own voice from the shadow of Foxx and company.

My big question at this point is where to buy this music? iTunes US currently has an extended version of “Echoes” from the album as a single track, but the info I see on the B-Movie site as well as the band’s German label site is conflicting. Discogs says the album is out, while the label says September of this year. The label site itself, lacks a store so there’s no buying from the source. The official B-Movie website only offers t-shirts. It’s best to keep your eyes peeled and fight the good fight. This music slots exceptionally well in with the rejuvenated Visage project that has dominated my listening thus far this summer, and I look forward to buying a spinning, silvery thing that makes these noises.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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9 Responses to Want List: B-Movie – The Age Of Illusion

  1. chas_m says:

    I have loved this band since “Remembrance Day” and am thrilled to be living in an age where B-Movie, David Bowie, Visage and John Foxx have all returned at the top of their game! Hey Buggles — time for a serious reunion! And someone get Bruce Woolley and Bill Nelson talking! OLD FUTURISTS ROCK, apparently! If this is a trend, please keep it coming, Powers That Be!

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      chas_m – So right on The Buggles! But would it work after all of that water under the bridge? I fear that it could be a huge disappointment. Maybe Bruce Woolley is a better call! I still haven’t heard the Bowie yet!

      Like

  2. Echorich says:

    Ah the Futurists!! Charts were not kind to them and production techniques certainly took them all scrambling in different directions, but between 79 and about 82 your ears could be pleasantly filled with the sounds of Ultravox, Numan, Foxx, Nelson, B-Movie, Visage, Richard Strange and many others…
    I was not a big fan of Forever Running – found it too glossy and missed the angular quality of the Dead Good/Some Bizarre records. There are so many versions of Nowhere Girl I’m never sure which is the original or which was the one I really preferred back in the day…
    The tracks on Soundcloud are certainly a good indicator that I will want this record. So Far Away sounds like a lost track from those early recording sessions! I’m really glad that 2013 has seen the return of so many things I was listening to in 1983.

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – FUTURISTS! the nerdy, proto-New Romantics that Time Forgot®! Time to dig up those charts in Sounds that Stevo used to compile [no conflict of interest there, eh?] and make sure we own each track on them!

      Like

      • Echorich says:

        Great idea! Maybe we should make it a scavanger hunt for those missing bits and pieces! There were so many bands bubbling under the First Division bands and artists and every once and a while one or two would get through and rise to the top…

        Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Yes, the time period you speak of was for me, the culmination of the 70s rather than the dawn of the 80s. The 80s were far more conservative in every way. But the adventure possible from ’78-’82 was profound. There was so much going on that missing some of it was inevitable, hence the archaeology of sound that is my brief as the Post-Punk Monk.

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      • Echorich says:

        I remember that Stevo would chart bands that sent in demos to him and some of the first Some Bizzare compilations were made up of bands from those demos. Stevo and Daniel Miller really helped to push the sound into the new decade.

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  3. Andy Woods says:

    If anyone can’t get hold of the new b-movie releases on CD they can email the band here;

    blue.soap@virgin.net

    thanks

    andy

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Andy Woods – thanks for the info! I’ve been traveling so much to so many concerts this year that many items on the want list have gotten sadly neglected. I’ll use this address if it comes to that.

      Like

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