Barcelona is a foursome that sings about UNIX, phone phreaking, and the intricacies of human/robot love. They also sing about Howard Jones posters, building tree forts in the den, and lusting after your mom’s boyfriend. Not your typical fare, not by a long shot.

Swathed in a bubbling and undulating bed of ’80s-sounding synth washes, Barcelona’s songs are incredibly elegant pop algorithms, simple but effective combinations of bouncy music, charming vocals (sometimes male, sometimes female), and sharp lyrics that seem to be about everything except your traditional topics. Born of four computer programmers, the band’s background often shows clearly, and to great effect for fellow programmers. What hardcore UNIX geek wouldn’t melt at the sound of a woman’s voice saying “I have the password to your shell account”? Other songs like “Electronic Company” and “Robot Trouble” reveal another related theme, and you don’t need a doctorate in CompSci to make sense of that one. “Studio Hair Gel,” “1980-1990” and “Have You Forgotten The Bomb?” are nostalgic but bright compositions, instantly likeable by anyone who ever danced a night away in the ’80s.

Between the genuine blast-from-the-past sound and the forward-looking message lie some of the catchiest, funniest songs to hit this programmer’s ears in some time. Sparkling production by trevor/hollAnd bring this into an elevated realm of sound and density. Snag a copy of ZeRo-oNe-INFINITY and brighten up these short winter days.

March Records, 51 Main Street, Hastings On Hudson, NY 10706;

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

From the Archives