Parade Ground is a Belgian duo of brothers that have been making synth pop since the 80s, but took a 19 year break between releasing albums since Cut Up, their debut album. I don’t think I would’ve ever heard of this band if not for the movie I saw tonight, “Little Sister” (2016). What caught my ear was the song Moans which played during the credits. It’s not even my usual style of music I listen to, but I knew I had to have this.
It reminds me a lot of my high school days, when I would listen to stuff like Joy Division and The Cure. They were never my favorite style of music, but I liked it. It also reminds me of some of my friends back then, I think they would love this if they haven’t already heard of it. Fans now of modern Indie/Synth Pop will see the roots of their music in Cut Up. A lot of sites praise Parade Ground for their influence, and looking back it’s apparent.
Moans is just fantastic. It’s got this sad and danceable beat with some great lyrics, my favorite being Call it the Communism of Love. I instantly want to repeat it, and a number of other tracks, like Moist Hands and Such is the Bow. The synths on 80s bands can very easily just seem so cheesy on modern ears, but thankfully I don’t get that feeling when listening to their music. Jean-Marc Pauly’s vocals are both airy and heavy, they never reach the weight of Ian Curtis or the softness of Thom Yorke, but it’s somewhere in the middle. I prefer a deeper voice in my post-punk, but this is just fine.
Thinking about it, I’ve been listening to a group called I Do Not Love which is probably the most similar to Parade Group, and I’ve been loving them. Cut Up will absolutely make the rotation for frequent listening, as I feel there’s more to dig up on repeat listens. Fans of 80s music or even modern Synth Pop will love this, I’m sure. Notable though is their first single Moan on the Sly (1983) is fantastic – but that is so much more lo-fi and abrasive than Cut Up… I’ll have to dig deeper to see if they’ve released more music like that, I can really sink my teeth into post-punk when it flirts with harsh noise.