“We were offered Star Trek, but they fed us Soylent Green,” is the perfect line to open a song that broaches the apparent miss-selling of the 21st century. After all, for those of us of a certain age, hardly a week went by back in the day without the titular British TV science program suggesting that by now we would all have our own jet-packs, hover boots and holographic TV. What we got was powered scooters being ridden on the pavement by adult man-babies, Ugg boots and repeated episodes of Love Island. If the 21st century were a product, you would be checking to see if you kept the receipt.
Musically it revels in a suitable future-retro sound, one that takes in the euphoric energy of The Byrds at their most upbeat and the power-pop poise of XTC, 60’s innocence mixed with a more contemporary sonic wisdom, and puts it all to a jovial Beatle-esque beat, one which conjures up images of Ringo swinging his head around whilst cranking out percussive grooves that were always more than the sum of their parts.
A neat slice of era-hopping power pop and a very cogent point. I mean, if the jet packs were just a pipe dream to lure us in to this century, what else have they been lying about?
The continued adventures of The Speed of Sound and their five year mission to explore sound textures and to boldly go where Norman has gone before (I think that’s what he said) can be found on the forth-coming fifth album Museum of Tomorrow.