Wang Chung may have been Abducted by the 80’s back in 2010, but it’s been almost 24 years since the band has put out new goods. Jack Hues and Nick Feldmen knew that digital was the way this time around to hit up the music scene with Tazer Up!, released in December.
The record opens up with the Psychemagick Remix of Wang Chung’s magnum opus “Dance Hall Days”—not much changes; the pitch is up and there’s a cool spacey element added to the song that adds a slight update to the track (no dubstep, thank god). Well worth it for the dose of nostalgia.
“City of Light” is an amped up nighttime ride on the freeway, not unlike a Lenny Kravitz style electronic rock song. “Let’s Get Along” is a 90’s style chill out summer tune, territory the band grazed with “Space Junk” back off their greatest hits collection from 1997.
So a handful of material appeared on the aforementioned Abducted by the 80’s EP—“Rent Free,” “London Orbital,” “Stargazing,” and the EP title. These songs are, as a result, the most 80’s of the album (you can vouch for “Why,” but that’s totally more disco). So if Wang Chung fans are really pining for the Mosaic or Points on the Curve days, these tracks are proper callbacks. “Abducted” is a weird Thomas Dolby kind of thing, and “Rent Free” the catchiest and most memorable of the bunch.
“Driving You” follows the new wave suite, but is a bit more new age in approach. Definitely more mellow, too. “Why” is a real joy of the album, a funky dance track that blends New York and Italo disco with electronic sounds.
Tazer Up! turns down the current on “Justify Your Tone” and “Overwhelming Feeling.” The former builds its instruments well, may be a little goofy and literal on the lyric end of things. “Overwhelming Feeling” is a pretty Beatles-esque song that has a mannered piano and rhythm.
This is part of an exciting two-tier plan for Wang Chung, a plan that includes a new full-length album in the future. Wang Chung are bold enough to give a gracious nod to their past for their fans, but are also comfortable in their pop rock skin.