Updated: Sep 9, 2019
Words by Merc Rowe
Reardon Love’s Obsidian is a safe bet in 2019. Indie rock and 80s nostalgia are two things that this band nails, but perhaps at the expense of standing out from the crowd.
Upbeat synth lines and understated vocals make for an energetic and effectively reminiscent track but fail to pin down what makes Reardon Love unique. Drawing comparisons between new wave artists such as The Cure helps to pinpoint what the track is missing- the band are clearly doing what they know. This, by itself, is not a bad thing. However, 80s nostalgia has become somewhat of a cliche in recent years and making any attempt to replicate it, no matter how genuine it may be, seem underwhelming.
From a technical perspective the track is well put together. Between the catchy vocal hook and the tightness of the instrumental everything about it is an earworm by design. As a second single it is likely that this is the band reaching out to a new audience while staying true to their original sound for established fans. As this a group that draws respectable crowds opening for acts such as Scouting For Girls and Hinds, it is ideal to have such a catchy track in their arsenal.
The arrangement could have benefitted from being less cluttered in places. Towards the end the synth began to move independent of the established melody, which could have been more effective in a bridge instead of over the chorus where it almost feels accidental.
All in all, if the cultural landscape allowed more room for 80s remembrants to breathe then Reardon Love would undeniably have a lock on the genre while still being unique enough to stand out. As it is, it’ll be interesting to see where this band goes when the trend moves on.
Unless you’re looking for something to subvert your expectations, then 80s fans: this is for you.