REDUX: Want List: B Movie – The Age Of Illusion

July 9, 2013

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 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 | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to REDUX: Want List: B Movie – The Age Of Illusion

  1. Echorich says:

    The Age Of Illusion was a very welcome return from B-Movie. I agree, it smokes Forever Running and fulfills the promise of the early recordings.
    2016 saw the release of Climate Of Fear which ratcheted up the “dark”ness in their “wave”… But at it’s core, the album trades in those quality B-Movie synth tropes. With age comes understanding and a sense of examination. There are times when the album feels like it came right out of the speakers in a record store in 1982. A heady mix of Post Punk guitars, piano, organ and some brilliant synths. The track San Francisco is spot on in it’s playful psychedelic dark pop. The opening two tracks – Another False Dawn (can you think of a more Post Punk song title) and Come Closer show off the strength and commitment of B-Movie 35+ years on. Climate Of Fear even ends with a song titled Feeling Gothic. It manages to be quite convincing in its use of Gothic motifs but also including use of some sublime acoustic piano and early 80s synth magic.
    While the guitars may have a stronger influence on Climate of Fear, I still highly recommend it to you Monk.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I reran this post while I was in Charlotte because I realized that it was almost four years later and I still had not bought the B-Movie album… and now you tell me there’s another one??!! Ai-yi-yi!


  2. SimonH says:

    Agree, both albums are excellent.
    I bought the e.p by the way, only to find it tacked on to the end of the first album which arrived a few days later…


  3. SimonH says:

    Forgot to say, the last two Modern English albums bear a good comparison in terms of a band coming back stronger than ever aided maybe by a feeling that the pressure is off in terms of career etc.


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