At last. A band that fully embraces the possibilities of the Sidstation and gives it room to blossom in all its crystal clear nostalgia. The primary effort made by Thermostatic is not one purely based on the past though, as their ridiculously catchy Commodore pop sounds strangely contemporary. The recent hype built around this Swedish quartet is very much deserved, as this feels like electropop for everyone, without exceptions. I can see the synthpop nerds (including yours truly) take this to their hearts, as well as fans of mainstream pop or rock, just because their sound, while not entirely new, is so refined.
I used to keep it to myself that I loved many of the old Commodore 64 game scores back in the day. "Out Run", "Flimbo's Quest". Even "Spy Hunter" had a minimalistic charm, even though it didn't use the sounds commonly linked to the classic computer. Ten or so seconds into "As Stars We Belong" (the album opener), when the infectious melody riff starts, I was instantly transported back to around 1986, sitting on my brown bean bag (why? oh why?), playing "Wonderboy" well into the evenings 'till my fingers bled. At the same time I'm still very much in the now; firmly cemented in the moment. "Joy-Toy" does that to you. Hurdles you back in time, while having you rediscovering that this is unique in its own right. Trans-X meets Kraftwerk meets Erasure meets Rex the Dog. Kind of.
Ten tracks clocking in at a little over 36 minutes constantly keeps you on your toes. But all great things are short, someone said. Who was that, by the way? Anyway, "Joy-Toy" is, quite frankly, simply stunning. Eagerly playful and masterfully produced at the same time.
Now, if I can just get the attention of the beautiful girl behind the "Vox" moniker of the band. Maybe I could lure her with my strong physique and gleaming white teeth? No? Well, she is still a great vocalist and I wish her and Thermostatic all the best in what I hope is the start of a love story. Ehh, between the band and a growing audience, that is.