Nostalgia is in. With bands like M83 and The Radio Dept. dusting off many a drum machine and synthesizer, it’s fair to say that a reverence for the past is common building block for most modern bands. Music, in a way, is like your favorite cocktail. You stick with what you know, but it’s the twist that sets itself apart. That’s not to say that this Athens, Georgia-based duo sounds anachronistic by any standards. Conversely, I Come To Shanghai has the penchant for implementing the “blips” and “bloops” of the Masato Nakamura and Koji Kondo 8 to 16-bit video game era, which subsequently brings forth an interesting and original element to their musical chemistry. Their reverence for video games is somewhat relavent, as percussionist/producer/vocalist Robert Ashley (former California native, by way of Texas) has written for the enthusiast press and produces a widely renowned, albeit on-and-off-again, video game podcast entitled “A Life Well Wasted.” Lead vocalist Sam Frigard (former Massachusetts native) brings forth some pretty fantastic guitar licks that often resemble the likes of Duane Allman and Angus Young. Both guys are pretty witty and often sardonic, as their Twitter accounts would have you believe, but they’re also pretty nice gents to boot.
But I’ll stop right now in the trivial effort of trying to describe the band’s “sound.” Judging from their self-titled LP and last year’s ambitious “Eternal Life: Volume 1,” ICTS’s calling card is that they’re all over the damn place (in a good way). Their latest single, which will satiate the aural pleasure centers until their forthcoming “Volume 2” arrives this year, brings out the aforementioned synths and often heralded 80’s aesthetic. By all means, give it a listen and sound off in the comments below.
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