Rick McNulty hosts Left of the Dial every Friday night, 7-11 pm.
There is something about the new second album from De Lux that sounds like buried treasure from 1982. The ambience and songwriting is a throwback to low-budget new wave, as if David Byrne and Brian Eno recorded demos in a cheap 4-track basement studio; you can hear the tape hiss, compromised fidelity and paranoia. Byrne & Eno were the kings of urban anxiety, creating a cottage industry of disaffected white male ennui — and Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco of De Lux follow devotedly in their footsteps.
The two Los Angelenos are clearly disciples of the golden era of nerdy college radio in the early ’80s. Most of the songs stretch past five minutes while remaining danceable and glazed with nervous jitters. If the music wasn’t so lo-fi, you could call it disco — or disco with a conscience. Their dystopian vision would be more suitable for shoegaze goth-rock, but De Lux seems much happier keeping things at a faster clip. I’d go so far as to call it downright jaunty.
Check out my favorite: “Oh Man The Future”
Other highlights are “L.A. Threshold” and “Simba Simba Simba.”