Kate Fagan - I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool

4-song 7" EP, 33 RPM in picture sleeve

Fans that went through the new wave years in the Chicago vicinity will be especially pleased with this rerelease of music that Fagan recorded before she went on to front Chi-Town ska band Heavy Manners. Originally released on her own Disturbing Records imprint, the vintage 1980 track "I Don't Wanna Be Too Cool" features the quirky rhythm and bright, carefree melodies that fueled the best of the era's favorite cuts, with lyrics that focus, in catchy short bursts, on the excesses of the time ("I know your nose is chemical…") Ironically the cautionary tale is a perfect soundtrack for partying. "Waiting for the Crisis" moves to a similar bounce and has socially-conscious lyrics about the United States selling its soul by making arms deals, to among other things reduce the national debt. The Reagan-era rant presages what would come to light a few years later with the Iran/Contra scandal. Fagan's words are fine and good and still resonate today, but really the songs are made for hitting the dance floor or just bopping around the record player. Two previously-unreleased cuts make up the B-side of the EP; "Master of Passion," a cut that recalls bands like Berlin that features Frankie Nardiello of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Doug Chamberlain of Scarlet Architect guesting on vocals, and "Come Over," a poppy, impassioned plea to a hopeful lover. Along with her singing Fagan also plays bass and whips up the beats throughout while Ron Rutherford provides the guitar work on this nice revisitation of an era that produced lots of musical fun.

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