Ganymede – Neon Rain EP

Neon Rain EP

If the name Ganymede sounds like the name of some type of synthesizer to you, you’re right on. Here is a group of five tracks (three versions of the title track, plus one new song and a remix of an older song) from a duo who thinks that in order to be relevant in 2001, they should look to 1985 for inspiration. Although logic may dictate otherwise, this concept can still fly, so long as the band has strong original ideas of their own and can avoid becoming a novelty act or sounding dated.
No dice here though. Judging by this release, Ganymede is perfectly content with novelty status. This is the warm-up single for their forthcoming record “Euromantique.” The analog synths sound great, the faux English accents are in place, the booty-shaking rhythms are ready to go. Ganymede follows the blueprints with stunning accuracy. In fact, that’s the problem – the songs are almost indistinguishable from those of the electro-pop acts of old. There’s nothing I could recommend here even to electro-pop fans, because they likely still own all of those New Order records anyway. At all costs, avoid the bridge of “You Look Like Someone I Know (Electro Mix).” A telling soliloquy backed by throbbing techno, the singer utters these lines in a stuffy monotone: “Will you laugh at me, will I get hurt?/Playing with fire, you’re bound to get burned.” I laughed. These theatrics are best left to the Moody Blues, and even in 1984 this would have been cringe-worthy.
Just as being in a guitar-based band doesn’t mean you have to ape Led Zeppelin, so should a synth-based band not be required to plunder Erasure’s back catalog. Although the playing is competent, I still get the feeling I’m hearing some sort of tribute band.