KOMATROHN – “Mirrors And Chrome”

Simon Reynolds pointed out last year that neo-electro bands were busy making tracks not songs, which meant they didn’t ever really hit the heights of their 80s forebears. And Ronan Fitzgerald pointed out last year that tracks would do him nicely thanks and what was all this ‘eighties’ shit anyway? Between them they’ve put up a most comfortable fence and I intend to keep sitting on it – Komatrohn’s “Mirrors And Chrome” is about as songy as these records get but listening to it just now it’s still the bass I vibe off.

Komatrohn’s song-template seems to come from Visage – the same marble and crystal keyboards, the same detatched but hungry scene-voyeur perspective, the same European rhythm axles and pop-song chassis. “She wears hair just like Limahl / She is posing like she’s seen / Famous people in magazines”. It’s ludicrous. It might even be a pisstake, I don’t know. It might be a pisstake on people who want it to be a pisstake. 1980 New Romantics were ludicrous too in what looks now like a weirdly innocent way – maybe they wanted to turn the clock back to 1973, Bolan-Bowie-Roxy starworship, but all the stars were dead so they had to put the clothes on themselves. 2003 Electro kids want to smash the clocks and disappear down the mirror-lined rabbithole of bluff and counter-bluff, pose replying to pose. There is nothing whatsoever innocent about Komatrohn. Uncomfortable listening in a sense, but exhilarating too.