For The Record: Replicas – Tubeway Army
Yeah that’s right, FTR is back after an absence down to my own laziness if nothing else, but this is probably the best LP I own (I haven’t listened to Low yet) so justifying why might be a good idea really. The final ’79 Tubeway Army one and the doorway to an electronic sci-fi warpath, we all love a bit o’ Gazza.
The first little riff of Me! I Disconnect From You practically has the album down. Numan’s typical vocals may aswell be another synthesizer, that’s something I really noticed listening to this multiple times actually, the entire tone of his voice and the melodies that go with it are that of a synth throughout, it’s quite magic until it descends into Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – hating this song would be a task and a half because I am yet to find anything that flaws it, it goes down incredible live too. The bass is also brilliant, and i’m a sucker for that. ohOHohOHohohohohoHOH.
The Machman is brilliant, the verses are electro garage punkrock swish and my copy appears to have a lovely crackle for the lofi, however my only issue with it, for something so full of movement, it doesn’t quite go anywhere it should do does it? You need a sweeping synth chorus number to be obtained.
Praying To The Aliens, well it grates, it become a small crash of the most overly catchy lyric repeated that really hurts your head – it, once again, suggests it’s going somewhere until you reach the staticism – until recently i thought the repeated sound effect riff at the end of my copy were there on purpose, making it a complete travesty, but it turns out it’s just a scratch, saved yourself some harsher words there.
Down In The Park returns the dignified milling edge – the synth lines all over surely make it top jealousy of any 80s sci-fi creator, you get lot in the stars for a few minutes and it’s absolutely ace – whoever had this before obviously agrees, because it’s scratched to pieces, this track.
This side is undoubtedly understated in the commercial world because it’s far superior to the last in all kinds of ways, honest. Anything that starts with the thunderous punky edge of You Are In My Vision is going places and deserves top marks before the lyrics even begin, then the chorus vocals are catchy for all the best reasons, it’s highly, and probably overly, my favourite track on the entire thing.
Replicas starts on something like the spoils of a machine and remains immediately that way, the occasional stabs of quite melancholicly eerie synths make it entirely like how I imagine some kind of futuristic cloning factory to be, complete with persistent bass, so – as for apt naming in musical reflection- the track is indeed spot on.
It Must’ve Been Years is similarly punky as the intro and still brilliant, the guitar stands out as just immense on this especially. The refrains occcur frequently on this album, this being no exception, and Tubeway Army appear to be one of very few outfits that can carry off the “repeat the title” approach succintly with ease.
When The Machines Rock intiates only the electro sci-fi warfare I was referring to in the intro with full force, as much as I love the post punk apocalyptic sounds of previous, you can’t deny this is where old Numan was always meant to be sat – at the helm of a Minimoog, vocals not needed.
I Nearly Married A Human solidifies this, to quote myself earlier “i feel like i’m drowning in a sea of 80s synths, this is electro mermaid music” and that is exactly all i have to say on the matter, it’s incredible. In all senses, Replica leaves you sufficiently impressed with the pre 80s work, it’s arguably the best Numan-esque album, but that’s for you to fight about….
*appearingly, this was my 150th post, aw*