Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Popular History of Signs - Comrades

A Popular History of Signs, led by Andrew Jarman, was an 80s synthpop band that didn't quite fit into any of the standard synthpop categories: not beat-heavy enough to fill dancefloors, too warm and melodic to be lumped in with "minimal wave" bands, and too thinly arranged to take their place with more melodramatic bands like Ultravox. Jarman's vocal style has been compared to David Byrne's, and it's a good comparison, though Jarman's voice is deeper and more wobbly. Jungle Records released the ten-song Comrades album in 1984; there is a thread of socialism running through several of the songs that makes it feel almost like a concept album. The opening track, "Body and Soul", was released as a single, and it is the strongest song on the album, with some nice bass work from Jarman. "Tidy" could pass for a Talking Heads song circa Fear of Music or Remain in Light; "Father and Son" is a touching downtempo ballad; "Comrades" contains echoes of David Bowie's "Heroes" in its melancholy, possibly doomed, optimism. Overall this a stronger album than the Trouser Press Guide gives it credit for. The band members on Comrades are:
  • Andrew Jarman: vocals, bass, keyboards, drum programs
  • Lindsey Smith: guitar, keyboards, drum programs
  • Paul Patient: percussion, pixie phones (?)
  • Christeen Isherwood: vocals, ideology

Get the Comrades vinyl rip here or here. Andrew Jarman is still musically active, currently with the band Southern Arts Society.

6 comments:

FILARDI said...

THANKS!!

Anonymous said...

Great music!

Pablo.

Fantod said...

You're welcome! Note to everyone: be sure to check Filardi's blog for more from this great band.

Fantod

MontaigNeden said...

Thanks & Best Regards From Turkey..

Louis Rondeau said...

I'm currently listening to this very record, and was interested in learning more about this obscure bands. Thanks for the info! I'll link it on my blog.

Cheers! Louis Rondeau

robotronik said...

I realize this post is super old, but I would love to hear this record. Sadly it seems like both the download links no longer work. Is it possible to re-upload?