CD Review: Communiqué – “Poison Arrows”

There’s a part of me that simply wants to dismiss Communiqué as a Hot Hot Heat rip-off act, and leave it at that so I can go back to playing solitaire. Unfortunately, the band is not that easily summed up.

The band does, in fact, sound an awful lot like Sub Pop artists Hot Hot Heat. However, where Hot Hot Heat is more punk and abrasive, Communiqué goes a smoother route. For the first thing, Communiqué is a much more pop-oriented act. Rather than go for an angular sound, they lean towards more mellow song stylings. In fact, it’s almost as if the act is an organic version of the Postal Service. They’re the same mellow dance-oriented sounds, only played with instruments, as opposed to being programmed into a computer.

The vocals, at times, resemble pop-era Police and the keyboards are more New Wave synth-style than most acts that attempt the sound. There were a few times I thought I was listening to Pleasure Victim-era Berlin, they hit the early ‘80s sound so well.

Certainly, it took several listens to Poison Arrows before I got over the similar sounding nature of Communiqué, but I am now trying to pass off the name of the band to anyone I can. It’s not an instant “holy shit” listen, but the album is certainly well worth the time it takes to grow on you.

Lookout Records

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