This Vienna, Austria-based trio firmly have their roots in the synth pop of the early-to-mid ’80’s, but that doesn’t necessarily make them revivalists or that it’s a bad thing. On For Love, their debut release, while most of the make-up is, indeed, synth-pop, there’s also a certain amount of “current” sounds – enough to keep the listener’s attention. The key to this album is simply this – synthesized or not, these songs have melody and structure.
Yes, the opening track, “Amused” instantly takes you back to 1982 (and for me, the halcyon days of WLIR radio, here in New York). Close your eyes and you can hear it wedged between The Teardrop Explodes and China Crisis; it’s something that certainly tugs at my nostalgic side and the fact that it has a catchy chorus only sweetens the listening. “Gold” sounds like a bit more now, with a strong dance groove and some nice harmonies – it should be noted that vocalist Lucas Fendrich is a very good singer; strong and confident sounding. “Evermore” has a slight Coldplay feel to it (which I won’t hold against them) with a big chorus; “Gravity” is another (albeit slightly slower) ’80’s-style danceable track and again, strong harmonies on the chorus and “In Color” is definitely a cinematic/dramatic ’80’s influenced piece but sounds like today and that’s not an easy task.
It can be a murky thing – walking the fine line between synth-pop and melody, but Hunger do it admirably on For Love. An impressive and very warm debut.
For Love is available now