Glasgow and Los Angeles are two epicenters of quality pop, but it’s not often that one band can touch both bases. The Champagne Socialists are equally at home in the lands of fog and sun, which is only appropriate as front Socialists Jihae Simmons Meek and Wallace Meek met in Glasgow while Ms. Simmons was the singer for pop phenoms The Royal We and Mr. Meek helmed the excellent Bricolage. Eventually relocating to Jihae’s hometown of Los Angeles, they promptly assembled a dream team of a band, featuring Devon “Hotdog” Williams and Mickey LaFranchi, and set about on the next stage in their musical journey. Coming on like Sparks produced by Joe Meek and Phil Spector, The Champagne Socialists have a flair for echoey three minute symphonies, marrying classic pop melodies with punk-informed crunch and glam-infused 70s stomp.
Blue Genes is the first release from The Champagne Socialists and it’s a pretty flawless statement of intent for this sharp new band. Sparked by a catchy guitar riff and rama-lama drums, “Blue Genes” jumps from the speakers and heads straight for your feet, sure to pack the dancefloor and get you hand-clapping along with the chorus. It’s a timeless sound: fuzzy riffs, pounding rhythms and tales of teenage love and lust. In other words – classic POP. “Young Runways” goes straight for a Shadow Morton vibe, kicked-off by a revving motorcycle and jumping into an updated slice of girl-group goodness that re-imagines the Shangri Las as they might have sounded playing at CBGBs in 1976. Clocking in at a perfectly-formed three minutes, “Young Runways” is brilliant power-pop for the ‘00s, with nods to Blondie and Shop Assistants along the way.
Tracklist: Blue Genes / Young Runaways
Slumberland Records SLR98