After The Fire - Batteries Not Included (reissue)

Published Monday 26th November 2007
After The Fire - Batteries Not Included (reissue)
After The Fire - Batteries Not Included (reissue)

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 36171-13336
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

After The Fire's third CBS album was released in the spring of 1982 as the band continued its search for a hit single. Produced by Mack who had recently produced stuff for Queen and recorded in Germany, the album demonstrates a more sophisticated sound. With punchy drums from Pete King driving the album and the interplay of guitar and keys more developed, all topped by some great songwriting, this is classic ATF. Highlights include the atmospheric "Sailing Ship" which was originally presented as an instrumental, the superb driving "Sometimes" and the catchy powerpop of "I Don't Understand Your Love". Three singles were released from the set - "Dancing In The Shadows", "Rich Boys" and "Frozen Rivers" but sadly none of them made an impact. The band's experiments don't always work so "The Stranger" sounds more like Andy Piercy mumbling over Pete Banks' synthscapes. "Carry Me Home" and "Gina" both have a romantic bittersweet feel to them and again stretch out the ATF sound. Sadly, "Space Walking" belongs to the same lyrical nonsense as "Starflight" from '80F'. "Bright Lights" with its U2 guitar riff and "Stuck In Paris" which chugs along nicely both fail to really connect with their tales of isolation. Musically though it would have been interesting to see where the band might have travelled musically. After this, there was only a cover version of Falco's "Der Kommissar" which ironically became a huge hit in the States after the band called it a day at the end of 1982. 'Batteries Not Included' never received a CD release though the whole album is included in the 'Der Kommissar' double CD compilation released on Edsel Records.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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