The band’s promotion punch line reads: “POPEDELICS consists of a group of songwriters who decided to give their take on New Wave music during the 80’s, a mixture of Pop, Rock and Entertaining lyrics, MICROWAVE was created !” Now don’t tell me that some part of that description didn’t grab your attention? Well I suppose your level of attention depends on which side of the 80’s you were born in! In 1980, a strange little person I knew mentioned a band called the B-52’s to me. I paid him no mind. In 1981, when I thought the Talking Heads was the limit, my best friend, apparently much goofier and hipper than I, played this band’s album for me. I later bought it, and my brain was never the same. At times in the 80’s I played B-52’s so often, and so repeatedly, that I thought I would go mad. I finally had to put it away and left it alone, so I could regain my tenuous grip on reality.
Fast forward to 2017 and the same thing happens with the POPEDELICS, and their single “MICROWAVE”. A brilliant mish-mosh of Shangri-Las melodrama, supreme 60’s pop, 70’s dance fads and 80’s wacky new wave, this is ready to be popped into your musical time capsule.
Considering the somber times we live in, this track really shouldn’t work. The call and response vocals are too playful and over the top. The retro instruments sound cheap and campy. Yet somehow everything fits together.
The hook driven, danceable song blends together with all its weird elements and it’s hard to imagine “MICROWAVE” being done any other way. The track sounds like a fun, non-stop party. Yet despite containing all of its retro-pop goofiness, there is an honest-to-goodness magic that is contained within such an unassuming song.
The POPEDELICS have managed to create an entire world all their own, one where goofy and coherence exists in the same song, where humor isn’t made without a great sense of song-craft behind it, and, best of all, absolutely nothing else sounds like it.
Unless of course I go back some 35 years down the line to the then futuristic and groundbreaking sound of the B-52’s. The song is a perfect one to sum up the POPEDELICS’ catchy, camp, ridiculously humorous, but seeming to be deadly serious take on trashy culture tropes, sets the bar high for the project’s next release!