Known as ‘that 80s New Wave band’, Haircut 100 stole the crown from Orange Juice with their bubbly radio-pop antics. Fronted by singer Nick Heyward, these British schoolboys churned out chart-topping hits that were easily recognisable: catchy, intensely hummable and shimmering with studio-polished gloss. Though their career was short-lived, debut record ‘Pelican West’ was a welcome release after punk had left its angry, political scars on the music scene. Production was handled by Bob Sargeant, helping to shape and style the band’s bright suburban tunes that conjure images of highway cruises at night. While Heyward sings at times of Toblerones, baked beans and building mountains out of snow, most of the lyrics are grounded in cheesy boy-meets-girl stories that make you smile. So, too, will the airy horn swells and funky disco drums.
Haircut 100 shamelessly steals from disco and pop-punk, made all the more clear from heaps of jangly guitar rakes and funk bass pops that run throughout. The happy-go-lucky vibes may be dull and unoriginal for some, but laidback retro grooves combined with naïve lyrics about love and adolescence makes for a surprisingly refreshing listen – even if their sound is slightly dated. This 1992 re-issue adds five bonus tracks to the 1982 original, including a tasty 12” version of hit title ‘Favourite Shirts (Boy Meets Girl)’. Extended by four minutes with stress-free grooves and euphoric brass licks, thicker retro drums are thrown into the mix with more of Heyward’s boyish vocal hooks. Catch the band at a re-union concert where the entire album will be played in its entirety on January 28th at the O2.
Visit their website for more details.