The sound of the 80's (Synthesizers that sound like lasers, vocals that sound like robots, cheesy lyrics about teen lust) has made a bit of a comeback the last couple of years due mostly to the hip-hop community latching onto the sound because Kanye West apparently told them it was cool. I bring this up because my first listen to tracks from X-LION TAMER reminded me of that sound. It's not the 80's per say, more a copy of the 80's filtered through a post modern sheen. It's not to say I was skeptical, after all the recommendation came from Ed over at 17 Seconds (and his taste is usually impeccable), it's just I felt the sound had been played out.
I am happy to say that the band (or the guy since it's a one man show) has earned a place of fondness for me. By his own admission, the sound is something you might hear at the end of one of those John Hughes movies starring Molly Ringwald and a pre-drug Robert Downey Jr. or James Spader. This could have come off a trite but the depth of musicianship helps save the songs and make them original. "I Said Stop" is what Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark would have sounded like had they not tried to replicate "If You Leave" for the remainder of their career. The cover of the Galaxie 500's "Tugboat" has both hints of the original and yet is also very unique in it's own right. "Life Support Machine" has all the makings of a PET SHOP BOYS song without the deadpan vocals.
It's fun (and yet surprisingly dark in lyrical make-up) and has me both nostalgic and looking to the future. If you like your music with a lot of pop, then this is for you.
(mp3) X Lion Tamer -- Tugboat