Band Profile: Modern Eon

Posted: January 20, 2016 in Band Profiles, New Wave, Post-Punk
Tags: , , , ,

Like many, I discover new music through music blogs and social media. (There’s still nothing like coming across a great find). This is how I first heard of Modern Eon, a post-punk band out of Liverpool. A page I follow – The 80s Underground – posted their song “Euthenics.” I took a listen and immediately wanted to find out more about the group. It turns out that they were a short-lived band, producing a handful of singles and only one full-length album. It’s no wonder I’d never heard of them before. Their dark and atmospheric sound drew comparisons to Joy Division but the use of offbeat drum rhythms and bursts of electronics and horns gave them a sound all their own.

Founding members Alix Plain and Danny Hampson started the band in 1978. At the time they were called Luglo Slugs but after a few lineup and band name changes they decided on Modern Eon. The group gained a following within the “New Wave Liverpool Scene,” which produced other notable acts such as Echo & the Bunnymen, OMD, and The Teardrop Explodes. After some success with the EP “Pieces” and the single “Euthenics” (and after more lineup changes), they released their only album, Fiction Tales, in 1981. Although the album didn’t do well commercially, it did receive critical acclaim. Later that year they were set to tour with The Stranglers when drummer Chris Hewitt critically injured his wrist. They went on with the tour but eventually had to replace Hewitt with drum tracks. After Hewitt’s recovery, they recorded demos for a second album that were never completed. By the end of 1981, the group had disbanded. It’s unfortunate, since it would’ve been interesting to see how their music would have evolved.

The song “Euthenics,” originally released as a single in 1980, also appears on the Fiction Tales album. It’s a soaring, atmospheric song with Hewitt’s off-kilter drumming on full display, along with a shot of special effects they were known for. The band was a big fan of composer Ennio Morricone, and he was asked but declined to produce their album. You can definitely hear his influence on this song.

  

“Mechanic” is another single off the Fiction Tales album. It’s a more melodic song off the LP with a steady bassline and great guitar work by Tim Levers, who would later go on to find success with Dead or Alive.

 

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