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BEAUTIFUL SKIN (Buy CDs by this artist)
Revolve (GSL) 2000

New York City new wave revivalists Beautiful Skin (a duo of guitarist Nick Forte, formerly of hardcore band Rorshach, and keyboardist Rossano Totino) blend the art- punk guitars of Wire and early Cure with the electronic instrumentation of Suicide and Organisation-era OMD to create a sound evocative of the darker synth bands of the early '80s. Revolve's frenetic title track is a jittery, repetitive rush of guitar and synthesizer which recalls the unjustly underrated Polyrock, while "Slake" could be the missing link between two Wire albums, 154 and The Ideal Copy. The ringing guitar on "Harsh Distractions" summons up echoes of the early, Bill Nelson-produced A Flock of Seagulls. Beautiful Skin's energy and inspiration flag a little mid-album, but the closing track, "Current Time," adds female vocals and pulsates and builds to a Philip Glass-like crescendo.

[Brad Reno]