Sunday, September 23, 2012

999 (1984) 13th Floor Madness (Line Recs.)


With four powerful punk-pop albums to their credit, 999 decided to go in a different direction with their fifth release, alienating many of their fans and critics in the process. Adding more varied rhythms and slowing everything down to nearly a crawl, the boys don't fall flat on their face, but their experiments are not entirely successful either. "Use Your Imagination" seems the closest thing to a classic 999 track, albeit a lot lighter than usual. "Lookin' Like You Do" has a reggae beat and a nice hook, but seems a bit empty. Other tracks follow the same path, taking in a bit of light soul/funk ("It's What You've Got," "13th Floor Madness"), '80s pop ("Good to See You," "Don't Want You Back") and exotic ska ("Arabesque"). Instead of the songs being based around the same 999 formula of old, there's a definite groove-based style of songwriting this time around, which doesn't quite translate to vinyl although bootleg live recordings of these songs show that the band added the necessary extra meat in a live setting. Though not a terrible album, 999 lost a lot of momentum with this release and it took a few years for them to recover. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee

tracks
1.use your imagination
2.lookin' like you do
3.book of love
4.it's what you've got
5.don't want you back
6.13th floor madness
7.good to see you
8.arabesque
9.custer's last stand
10.hang it all
11.night shift
12.how can i tell you
13.how the west was won
14.13th floor madness (long version)

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