The ’80’s are back in a big way as Men Without Hats release their first new album in over eight years and definitely their best since 1982’s Rhythm Of Youth. Originally announced as an EP, what became Love In The Age Of War has grown to this monster throwback of an album that oddly sounds right at home in 2012. If anyone ever questioned the relevance of Men Without Hats, Love In The Age Of War is the album that will forever put that argument to rest.
Synths provide as much power as the guitars on Love In The Age Of War but the true driving force on the latest MWH album is singer Ivan Duroschuk whose uncanny voice and charisma are the blueprint of each and every song within. “Devil Comes Round” sets the tone with some guitar crunch and driving synths before Duroschuk enters and listeners are reminded of why the ‘8o’s were so amazing. If you’re a child of the 21st Century, then this should pleasantly remind you of The Faint and Metric and display how relevant Men Without Hats still are.
Single “Head Above Water” sounds more like recent VNV Nation than Men Without Hats and that suits the band’s reinvigorated sound and line-up just fine while the title track adds a little country twang to the band’s repertoire reminding listeners of Wall of Voodoo at times. The highlight of LITAOW, however, is a song that’s been played live for almost a year now called “This War”. While “Head Above Water” is definitely the next stage of MWH’s evolution, “This War” is 2012 Men Without Hats with feet planted firmly within their ’80’s roots. The song, like most on Love…, just drives listeners to get out of their seats and dance (“We can dance if we want to”, can’t we?).
Love In The Age Of War is not going to change the face of modern music but it will change the way you look at Men Without Hats.
Love In The Age Of War is available digitally now through Itunes. Physical copies will be available on August 21st.