I’ll admit it. I’m in a rut. My iPod Classic died last week with every piece of music I’ve ever owned. I don’t entirely love streaming music services (I hate the need to be connected to listen to music) and it’s been tough finding new music. It’s been tough over the last few years to diversify my library. My lovely better half (now fiancé) has described my musical preference as, “anything with a banjo and old men singing about trains.” (I listen to a lot of bluegrass). Lately, it’s felt like the right time to diversify.
I stumbled across the dark, industrial, thumping new-wave sound Gunship, a recent synthwave release from London. This band has a penchant for 80’s pop culture and it really resonated with me. As a child of the 80’s with a fondness for campy horror and thriller films, this self-titled first album from Gunship delivers the perfect homage to the 80’s film soundtrack (think Terminator or Alien). The tracks on this album drip with ethereal, synthy atmosphere and I have not been able to stop listening to it.
Gunship found a good bit of publicity last week with the release a brilliant stop-motion video for the third track on their album, Tech Noir. Directed by Lee Hardcastle with a few lines of spoken intro from horror director John Carpenter, Tech Noir is a love letter to 80’s and the near-extinct VHS tape. Our hero is transported across parallel universes with the help of his VHS collection to save a beautiful woman who was kidnapped by some really bad-looking dudes. Along the way, we meet up with some of our favorite 80’s film villains and heroes. We see Robocop, a Care Bear shoot lasers from its heart, we meet Pinhead, Jason, Rocky, Alien, He-Man, and we definitely feel the influence of Terminator throughout. There is no shortage of clay gore as our hero does battle to rescue the girl.
Revel In Your Time is a July, 2015 release from the same album and it’s a perfect homage to the 8-bit, pixelated video game.
Gunship has really committed to an 80’s revival. All of their tracks drip with classic synth, their album art is stunningly 80’s-authentic, seemingly designed for Nintendo cartridge cover, and their commitment to pop culture throughout all of their videos is strong. This album has really helped me out of a deep folky musical rut and helped me embrace my inner-geek. Maybe I’ve inhaled too much campfire smoke or injected an overdose of acoustic guitar this summer. It’s definitely time to schedule an 80’s horror marathon for the upcoming Halloween season.