Meta-modernism is the new post-modernism--reimagining threads of the past to create nostalgic, yet fresh new sounds, images, or writing. Somewhat different from how Post-modernists deconstructs what once was and rebuilds from there--it lacked the nostalgic feeling. New Haven's Estrogen High's newest record, "Irrelevant Future," certainly fits the meta-modernist movement quite well. Though, perhaps I am reading in to them too much. Their revival of 77 Style grimily mixed with Brit-punk shimmers through their quite impressive recording while simultaneously creating a fresh look at these ancient styles. (I could swear they recorded it on tape...) A lot of bands try to be another band. For example, some bands might mimic the sound Wire, or The Chills, or Joy Division... The key word is mimic... Estrogen Highs do much more than mimic, they reinvent and transcend the sound in which they are influenced by. From listening to this record, it sounds like they take much influence from Wire, Pink-Flag era, yet, as i mentioned a second ago, they have completely taken the sound and made it their own. This is hard to do.
The opening track, in particularly the introduction bass line, instantly reminds one of some lost punk song; something you heard before; something familiar; something you just can't put your finger on, but you know you like and liked it. It is definitely not my favorite track, but quite essential to the record. The group continues along a similar path, but mellows out a bit after the opening song. Let me rephrase that: their proceeding songs are mellower, yet do not lack intensity or power. In addition, while the band gives the impression that they are a sneering 'fuck-it' punk band, they still have good pop sensibilities. The track, which I have enclosed in this review, has hooks in it that will get stuck in your head for awhile. But that goes for all of their tracks, and the hooks certainly help to reinvent a lost genre. While Wire is an amazing band, the Estrogen Highs take said influence and soar above what was to create something new. Truly a great album with few flaws.