An Australian New Wave band formed back in 1982, Pseudo Echo certainly fit right in next to the likes of Ultravox, Tears For Fears and Visage.
While they later became known mostly for their fun yet admittedly corny version of Lipps Inc.‘s “Funky Town”, moviegoers probably already knew them for their song “His Eyes” which was used in the film Friday The 13th: A New Beginning.
Autumnal Park is their first album which was released in 1984 and, although it wasn’t exactly a resounding hit and didn’t leap to number 1 worldwide, it’s certainly an underrated effort and deserves to be rediscovered.
For one thing, you’ve got some devilishly catchy songs like “A Beat For You” and the aforementioned “His Eyes” in there, both instantly luring you in with their energetic beats, ultimately building up to effective and memorable tunes altogether. The former is a little more light-hearted and simple than the latter but they’re both just as fun and just as good.
“See Through” has a more Duran Duran-esque feel to it, evoking “Planet Earth” somewhat, while “Stranger In Me” has a little more Oingo Boingo to it. Funnily enough, “Stranger In Me”, which was released as a single, already sounds a tad like “Funky Town”. It’s overall kinda repetitive but upbeat enough to keep it likeable.
The album does have some more forgettable songs like “Fast Cars” and “Listening” but even they’re pretty entertaining. “Listening” may have a so-so chorus but its build-up is solid, it just needed a slightly darker delivery. As for “Fast Cars”, it’s quite probably the lesser song of the bunch, despite a nice bridge.
“From The Shore” is the third song of the album and it’s a welcome more chilled-out effort with a strange James Bond opening title sequence quality, unfortunately its build-up is anti-climactic. “Dancing Until Midnight” is another single from the album which goes in a different, more melodramatic route. It’s got a nice melody and an enjoyably theatrical, grand feel to it, making it one of the most atmospheric songs on the album. That said, it’s surprising that it was picked as a single instead of “Walkaway”, a much more catchy tune altogether. Sure it’s a little moodier and more melancholic but its chorus is very effective.
Finally, we have “Destination Unknown”, which opens with a “Spin Me Round”-style electro beat and develops into a fun song, ending the album on an upbeat note.
Overall, Autumnal Park is definitely a must for New Wave fans, it’s a really fun album with some memorable hits and not one bad song in sight. Try and hunt it down if you can as it’s something of a hidden gem and a nice surprise.
That’s 4, well deserved, Ziggies out of 5.