The wait is over: after teasing us with an EP in 2012, Calgary’s cold-wave connoisseur Ryan Sadler spews forth the future sound of today over ten tracks of sub-zero synth bliss. Finding new recruits for this Tubeway Army won’t be hard to find, as any follower of Lost Sounds, Black Bug or the irreverent influence of The Units would gladly pick up the freak flag and let it fly.
While the frostiness of programmed drums and calculated chill of keyboard passages cuts with surgical precision, guitars attempt to stab and pierce the air as the freeze progresses, beginning with the Ultravox-inspired, “Ultra Instant,” and ramping up the ultra-violence with the help of the ghost of Jay Reatard taking over on “Blood Drips.”
A little more of these blood visions persist on cuts like “Antenna” and “Parallel,” but somewhere underneath it all a new-wave romantic resides with album opener “Boyfriend,” “New Motion” and “Golden Dawn,” melting away some of Sadler’s icy exterior. Don’t give this the cold shoulder: you should warm up to it in no time lest you want “Spirals” spinning out of Teledrome’s eyes. That’s not going to be pretty — you’ve been warned.
By Bryce Dunn