"Plastique People (Expanded Version)" (Album, 2011)
Of the never ending stream of bands seeking to emulate their early 80s inspiration, Neuropa are one of the few acts that could almost pass as genuinely from that era. For example, Renaissance appears to take its inspiration from Depeche Mode’s debut album Speak And Spell, and a few notes(!) from their gloomy second long-player A Broken Frame. Meanwhile, singing about "Fighting in a fashion war” (Fashion War) may pinch from/pay homage to Yazoo but is a bit unnecessary in this day and age. ;-) Though label and band clearly disagree it as it has been spun off as a multi-track single.
Neuropa hail from Australia and share superficial similarities to their former stablemates Parralox (who this year departed Conzoom for a major - Warners). Conzoom have repackaged and reissued this extended version of the album over a fulsome sixteen tracks (including three new remixes). Whilst it does just manage to avoid pastiche it doesn’t make much of the rich diversity of electronic pop music since then, meaning that whilst it is continually diverting (in a bouncy, pinging manner) it never feels significant. But that’s fine. 6/10
Rob Dyer (December 2011)
(early) Depeche Mode