On 1982’s After the Snow
, Modern English’s sound evolved from the dark, moody and challenging post-punk found on its debut, Mesh & Lace
, to a more commercial and radio friendly mix of synthesizers, guitars, catchy drumbeats and singer Robbie Grey’s unmistakable vocals. As the title suggests, the icy sound featured on Mesh & Lace
melted away on After the Snow
to reveal more concise and potent songs, highlighted by “I Melt With You” which brought the band up from the underground to the mainstream. It’s a song so popular that the band was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 BMI Awards for five million plays on radio. After the Snow
was produced by the acclaimed Hugh Jones
whose production credits include albums by Echo and the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, The Damned and many more, and the LP was released on the legendary 4AD Records in the UK and licensed to Sire Records in the U.S.
Formed in Colchester, England, the band self-released its first single on its own Limp Records label prior to signing to 4AD, home to such like-minded acts as Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance. Laying the foundation for future musical movements such as goth and industrial, Modern English would gain the attention of renowned BBC DJ John Peel, who featured the band twice on his program.
The band would record various records over the years, and most recently, they released its latest album, 2017’s Take Me To The Trees, an album that reconnected the band to their youth, in the fervent and fecund world of late-Seventies/early-Eighties post-punk Britain. Given Modern English’s roots were post-punk icons Wire and Joy Division – dark and austere while still melodic and passionate – Take Me To The Trees is a return to the sound and vision of their very early work that even James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem has described as “a sneaky secret that everyone writes off, because they just think it’s going to be a ‘I Melt With You’ but it sounds way scarier than any Joy Division record [Mesh & Lace].”
Modern English will release “I Melt With You” as an exclusive 12-inch as part of this year’s Record Store Day on Saturday, October 24 which will also include a B-side featuring “Trees” and “Moonbeam” from Take Me To The Trees. New Mesh & Lace and After the Snow reissues featuring reimagined artwork by the late Vaughan Oliver are also currently available in LP and CD formats via Blixa Sounds HERE.
Modern English are: Robbie Grey (Vocals/Guitar), Mick Conroy (Bass), Gary McDowell (Guitar), Daniel Jakubovic (Guitar and Backing Vocals), Steve Walker (Keys) and Roy Martin (Drums).