The Drop (4/10): Chronicle’s guide for the music store

By and

Cut CopyIn Ghost ColoursModular RecordsThree stars

Cut Copy makes electronic music sound new again. When the new wave youth unwrapped its shiny new synths in the early ’80s to jam out classics such as Depeche Mode’s Some Great Reward and Duran Duran’s Rio, originality took a catchy lead and a cool delay effect. In the wake of the new wave and dance music explosions, writing quality, electronic pop tunes requires an ability to fuse the latest in techno-knowledge with a sense for good, old-fashioned songwriting. Cut Copy’s In Ghost Colours triumphs. From the Erasure-ish traditions of “Far Away” to the trip-hop minimalism of instrumental epic “We Fight For Diamonds,” Cut Copy combine classic new wave hooks with futuristic electronic experimentation that cuts straight to the front of the ’80s Night line.

Cut Copy will play at Urban Lounge on May 2.

Living LegendsThe Gathering EPLegendary MusicFour stars

In the early ’80s, the Bay Area gave birth to two of hip-hop’s most prestigious emcee crews, Hieroglyphics, who graced our fine learning establishment last month, and Living Legends, who’ll be hitting Urban Lounge on April 17 to introduce Salt Lake City to its eighth offering, The Gathering EP. After a brief hiatus, the crew is back with seven party anthems that preach powerful life lessons over simple, two-stepping beats. “War and Peace” typifies the Legends’ unifying sound as each of its eight gifted-gabbers chants over an upbeat groove, “If you wanna make war, we gotta start with peace, people realize that you’re free.” All you gotta wonder is why the Legends didn’t do us the courtesy of recording a full-length?

No Use for a NameThe Feel Good Record of the YearFat Wreck ChordsThree stars

1996: I was 12 years old. My best friend was a beat-up, old skateboard, and No Use For A Name’s Leche Con Carne ruled my 5-pound Discman with breakneck speeds and classic, melodic punk sing-a-longs. Twelve years later, a lot has changed. But No Use For a Name is still producing the unrelenting punk anthems that kept me going through those awkward junior high years. The Feel Good Record of the Year has it all: Fat Wreck-style melodic punk, vocal harmonies, b****in’ solos and that nostalgic feeling of punk rock prior to its modern replacement with emo and pop. Trends come and go, but I’ll always have No Use for a Name to thank for reminding me that good things never truly die.

No Use for a Name will play at In The Venue on May 3.

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