Although the Montreal synthesizer trio occasionally lapses into lyrical pomposity, for the most part, Rational Youth’s records served up fresh sounds and workable songs that showed lots of promise. A bit like early Human League but better-natured, Cold War Night Life is a well-produced LP from talented technicians with minds and hearts.
Rational Youth added a drummer and exchanged another member by the time of the major-label EP, a slick and poppy five-song 12-inch that includes a remake of the first LP’s “Just a Sound in the Night” and two previews (the OMD-derived “In Your Eyes” and “Holiday in Bangkok”) of the second album.
With an altogether different lineup (singer/synthesist Tracy Howe is the only holdover; ex-Klaatu guitarist Dee Long is his main collaborator), Heredity blends in more guitar for increased commercial appeal, but maintains a certain down-to-earth spunkiness that distinguishes Rational Youth from other post-Duran tech-pop bands. Flash of fame footnote: the group was later featured — on the soundtrack and in a concert scene — in an early Kiefer Sutherland movie called Crazy Moon.