Lana Del Ray, who`s career trajectory, hearteningly, argues that there`s still enough ill-gotten gain to be had in any music industry to bother faking anything. Well back in the late seventies as the disco bubble floated towards the punk rock pin, frantic record executives were signing anything that had simple hooks, choppy guitars and bad attitudes, the sort of thing they called, `New Wave`. This led to all sorts of laughable attempts for many a late twenty-something veteran to don a skinny-tie and a sneer and try their hand once again in the rock n` roll crap shoot. Sometimes, however, this gambit paid off, if only because a struggling musician nearing thirty probably had an even deeper well of anger then a spotty British eighteen year-old in the dole-queue.
One such veteran vying to hang ten on the New Wave, was former drummer of Calgary's' The Stampeders (they of `Sweet City Woman fame`!) Kim Berly who, like band-wagon-jumper extraordinaire Declan McManus, changed his name, his attitude, his look and his sound as a result of the cultural upheavals then occurring in New York and London. Like Mr. Costello, an angrier, more direct musical environment actually played to Berly-Fox`s strengths and the results, while no My Aim is True, still beat the tar out of the light-country-rock of his earlier work*.
So let's talk songs; the rockers like "Crackdown", "Last Laugh" and "Can't Get Close" have an all-out, reckless intensity that reminds me of a Joe Strummer-fronted Stranglers, though "Little Sister" certainly does encroach on Elvis Costello and the Attractions territory
Despite keyboardist's Macpherson's prominence on the album's overall sound, his contributions, "You" and "Razors' Edge", are the two most typical 'new wave' songs herein. Fortunately, Fox's ballads equaled and possibly surpassed the rockers in their ferocity. When things slow down, Fox & co. offer no tenderness, not even the bleak kind EC put forth in songs like, "Allison". Instead we get a brooding, menacing take on The Kinks "I'm Not Like Everybody Else", the desolate "Who Cares" and the absolutely-burning "Guitar" which excoriates a lost comrade for turning his back on his talent.
So here we have a neglected piece of music history created by a struggling musician with a deep well of anger who transcended charges of band-wagon jumping and truly got something right.
(Well, If you've red this far, and taken the time to listen, thanks. While I loved this album in high school, it wasn't one I won many converts to, though somewhat unusually, I didn't try, it felt like more of a personal thing).
If anyone has a copy of The Cry's second or thrid albums that they could rip and scan - MRML (And at least a few of its readers wouold be forever in your debt!
So what do you think of The Cry's New Wave band-wagonry? Let us know in the COMMENTS section, (which is where you'll find The Cry's S/T link*).
*Rip and scans courtesy of the fantastic site, Fade 2 Grey - go forth and visit the multitude therein!