• Lambrettas
  • Beat Boys in the Jet Age (MCA) 1980 
  • Ambience (UK Rocket) 1981 
  • Kick Start (UK Razor) 1985 

Sad. This Sussex foursome had most of the pop smarts of fellow neo-mods Secret Affair and none of their arrogance, but evidently believed too strongly in the up-the-movement sentiments of Beat Boys‘ title song (“so sure in what we do”) not to be blown away when the fad faded. The first LP is mostly free of pretense, with some great hooks in among a batch of good songs (including two hit singles, “Da-a-a-ance” and a cover of “Poison Ivy”). They even reveal a sense of humor.

Ambience, however, shows the Lambrettas to be utterly lost. The tunes aren’t nearly as catchy and there’s obvious confusion as to which stylistic fork in the road to follow. (The uncredited synth dribbles and sax come courtesy of Wesley Magoogan, subsequently a member of the Beat.) The lyrics, while reasonably intelligent, just aren’t smart enough to get serious and still be taken seriously.

[Jim Green]