Hats Off! The Hatless Men Are Back with a Hatful of New Songs!
(On the Return of Men Without Hats)
Another classic New Wave band—a Canadian—Men Without Hats—is back with a new album, Love in the Age of War (2012). The last album prior to this one was released in 2003–nine years ago!
In the Philippine New Wave scene, Men Without Hats belong to those Johnny-came-late bands, for the radio stations played their singles already in the late ’80s, when New Wave music was already handing the flag of commerciality to other genres of music. Regardless, the band still managed to join the pantheon of classic New Wave bands because of the infectiousness and eventual popularity of the songs “I Got the Message,” “The Safety Dance,” and “Pop Goes the World.”
Men Without Hats was founded in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 1977; and released its first EP (four-song mini-album) in 1980. The music of Men Without Hats is defined by the melodic quality of especially the synthesizers and keyboards, the driving style of the bass, the simplicity of the drum beats, and the low-register of the vocals.
Men Without Hats’ complete album discography is as follows: Rhythm of Youth (1982), Folk of the 80’s (Part III) (1984), Pop Goes the World (1987), The Adventures of Women & Men Without Hate in the 21st Century (1989), Sideways (1991), No Hats beyond This Point (2003), and Love in the Age of War (2012).
“Head above Water,” the first single off the new album, is unquestionably New Wave, or Synthpop to make it more specific—and definitely sounds Men Without Hats, despite vocalist Ivan Doroschuk’s being the only remaining original member of the group.
The new album was slated for release on May 22, so by now it should be available at various CD shops all over Canada anytime soon.