Screen Vinyl Image: The '80s In Hindsight

It often takes time for commercially overexposed genres to get their critical due: Once the radio over-saturation dies down, and once the fair-weather fans have moved on, it's easier for Beatles fans to admit that The Monkees were okay, or hard rockers to acknowledge liking ABBA songs. Seen in this retrospective light, the 1980s turf war between synth-fired dance music and guitar-powered indie rock seems a little silly.

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Cathode Ray"
  • Artist: Screen Vinyl Image
  • CD: Interceptors
  • Genre: Rock
Screen Vinyl Image i i

In "Cathode Ray," Screen Vinyl Image fuses together synth-fired dance music and guitar-powered indie rock. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist
Screen Vinyl Image

In "Cathode Ray," Screen Vinyl Image fuses together synth-fired dance music and guitar-powered indie rock.

courtesy of the artist

Washington, D.C.'s Screen Vinyl Image uses its distance from both genres to fuse together hard-edged dance-rock with smoldering guitar drones, cycling synthesizers, wistful lyrics and science-fiction motifs. Appropriately, "Cathode Ray" opens with a whiplash-inducing synth-drum line that wouldn't sound out of place in a New Order track.

The rest of the song follows its fleet lead: A nearly robotic chant of "Cathode ray, cathode ray, cathode ray speeding through my brain" floats over grinding guitars, oscillating keyboards and a flash here and there of what appear to be wind chimes. An equally affect-less female vocal joins in as the keyboards and guitars soar and dance around each other, making big neon trails in the sky before the musical detente ends in a hollow, rattling, strangely ominous echo.

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Interceptors

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Album
Interceptors
Artist
Screen Vinyl Image
Label
Safranin Sound
Released
2009

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