Release Date: Feb 3, 2017
Record label: Fat Possum
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Post-Punk
Opening as they hope to go on, "Come On, I'm Waiting" emphatically sets a tone that oozes the best kind of throwback. A "violet tinted" retrospective tip of the hat to 1980s pop music with a 21st century hue: "It's not something we think about too much but there's definitely certain groups from the 80's that we are influenced by, like The Cure and The Smiths " says frontman Martin Rehof. Why that era specifically? "A lot of music from that time had a certain grandeur and ethereal quality to it, and I think that is something that we have tried to apply to our music.
There's something to be said for familiarity. Sometimes you just want a burger to taste exactly like the one you had last time, and Blue , the full-length debut by the Danish quartet Communions , announces its ingredients right away with opener "Come On, I'm Waiting." Had the band added a signature Greg Hawkes-style keyboard line, it would have been even easier to imagine "Come On, I'm Waiting" as being by the Cars. Within a few measures, it's clear that Communions aren't trying to hide the well of styles they're drawing from.
In the 2010s, Denmark became home to a new breed of bands who took the rage and ferocity of punk rock and transformed it into something more polished and exacting, but no less powerful. But if bands like Iceage and Lower are reworking the frameworks of punk, Copenhagen's Communions are their new wave counterparts. 2017's Blue, the first full-length album from the Communions, is all clean lines, crisply processed drums, and cool, melodic guitar figures, suggesting they're a lost British band from the era when the Cure, Echo and the Bunnymen, the Chameleons UK, and the Mighty Lemon Drops held sway.
Communions have a way of shaking expectations. First off, their early work released on a Danish noise label Posh Isolation, but they were decidedly guitar-pop from top to bottom. Secondly, they shared a practice space with fellow Danish band, Iceage, which seems like illuminating information to include in a review until you listen to Communions and realize they don't have an aural connection to Iceage at all.