Utilizing a perfectly verbose approach to 80’s pop elasticity, Once Around Saturn’s most recent efforts see a yuppie era radio act nailed – even down to the name. Their latest EP, These Promises, is primed for the final dance scene of a John Hughes bildungsroman. Once Around Saturn has turned out a sound that is perfectly suburban cosmic, with obvious influence found in the likes of The Revolution and other astro-rock outfits.
These Promises is a succinct sampler of the group’s ability to emulate an incredibly particular zeitgeist. Day-glo and methodically curated fringe accompany the four tracks incredibly well. So well, in fact, it’s difficult to keep in mind that there is a modern act behind the madness. “Fortress of Love” is a particularly appropriate effort for those wishing to be drowned in the sentimentality of classic 80’s ballads. Vocalist Amanda Easton infiltrates the song like a female powerhouse reminiscent of the period, romancing the track as she owns every note.
Guests Glenn Whitehall and Easton also triumphantly tackle “Because Jennifer,” creating a song that instantaneously makes one wonder whether or not it might have been the theme to a primetime teen-oriented sitcom, the heavy snares and boisterous synth pounding out title cards, as it were.
One Around Saturn have accomplished what many strive to do – craft a masterfully kitschy collection of would-be radio material from a time before Spotify. These Promises serves as en excellent introduction to one’s retro party as the guests filter in and the playlist slowly shifts towards the throes of Madonna and The Purple One. This Australian group understands American pop in the 80’s perhaps better than most states-based bands attempting to do the same – not bad strides for some men at work.