Hollywood Burns – Invaders

Hollywood Burns’ Invaders lands in a weird and in-between place within the discussion on the plight of retro/synth wave (I’m just going to use synthwave from now on, you know what I mean). It’s an album that suffers from its structure, for some reason making the odd decision of placing its best tracks on its second half. On one hand, we can understand the decision; the first five tracks should be very familiar to anyone who’s up to date with the scene. “Scherzo No. 5 in Death Minor” for example channels the by now familiar horror/occult vibes of artists like Carpenter Brut while its predecessor, “Black Saucers”, rings of most artists being released on Blood Music today (on which label this record was also released). Which is not to say they’re bad tracks. The former especially has some really good ideas and cool line synths. But they’re pretty regular stock within the context of the scene around Hollywood Burns; they don’t really leave their mark on the listener. This cannot be said for what happens further down the line however.

Hey! Listen to TWRP!

One of the great musical injustices of the last century was the disservice done to disco and funk. Painted as “simply” a meaningless and mindless bit of fun, the two genres were completely severed from their musically interesting and socially radical roots. From a style that sticks a finger in the eye of rock n’ roll, focuses on sex positivity and diversity, disco became the commercial opiate of the white masses, drummed up as another combatant in the supposedly radical culture wars that were and are fueling the corporate music machine. Luckily, not everyone has forgotten the legacy of disco and its radical potential; TWRP have been proudly carrying that torch for years now. Their previous releases included tracks like “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Her” and plenty of empowering lyrics.