Get these boys a time machine and tell Boy George to watch his back
Even a cursory listen to Golden begs the question: Have The Killers and The Bravery managed to so scorch the ’80s turf that Elkland’s even more unabashed flashback will founder in the face of the inevitable backlash? If so, it will be a shame, because in 1984 “Apart” and “I Need You Tonight” would’ve given Duran Duran a serious run for its money. With bubbling keyboards and swooning vocals, Elkland steers more toward Erasure (with whom they’re currently touring), OMD and even the Pet Shop Boys in their sensibilities and almost-eerie knack for hooks, icy melodrama and lush atmospherics. Even if you’re inclined to scoff at how overwhelmingly derivative Elkland’s every gesture sounds, you can’t help but be impressed by the songwriting and the musicianship. In the end it will leave you wondering, can you make one of a decade’s most promising debuts 20 years after the fact? Gear up the flux capacitor to 1.21 gigawatts and find out for yourself.