Dan Sartain - Century Plaza
Staring out from the cover with (non-artificially) blackened eye, paranoid android Dan Sartain goes back to the future for 'Century Plaza' - a new album of darkly nuanced electro-pop, released via One Little Indian. While Suicide and Alan Vega have long been acknowledged influences (a cover of 'Wipeout Beat' features) 'Century Plaza' finds Sartain trolling the British synth-pop wave of '80-'84 - particularly Depeche Mode - for inspiration, opening the record with a funereal remake of 'Walk Among the Cobras'. Lead single 'Sinking in The Shallow End' offers up further provocation, indulging a truly truly outrageous Van Halen-inspired guitar solo (notably the album's sole concession to the instrument). Crepuscular synths and metronomic beats dominate songs like 'Cabrini Green' and 'Feigning Ignorance' - either could have been pulled off a Blade Runner or Escape From New York soundtrack in a parallel universe - while 'First Bloods' and 'Black Party' are pathological US teen anthems that serve Sartain's particular brand of charisma especially well.