Mode Moderne – Strange Bruises
On this 7-track follow-up to their 2009 debut Ghost Emerging, Canada’s Mode Moderne indulge in a lovesick homage to 80s indie and new wave: Echo and the Bunnymen, the Go-Betweens and The Psychedelic Furs are among the acts evoked, while Philip Intilé’s archly romantic vocals veer between a Morrissey-style theatricality and David Gedge’s heartfelt innocence. Even by current standards, the unapologetic revivalism of Strange Bruises is striking, from its ubiquitous use of reverb, to the vintage synth lines laid across jangling guitars.
Mode Moderne’s peers often strive to instil this kind of new-new-wave approach with more contemporary ideas, but few possess the kind of romantic intensity evident on high-tempo tracks like Guns and Electrocute Me. At such points, the anthemic quality of the group’s songwriting gels seamlessly with the record’s retro aesthetic, and Strange Bruises feels less like an exercise in nostalgia than a legitimate continuation of existing cultural pathways.