The Vendetta Suite, the one man project of Northern Ireland's Gary Irwin, has just put an album out, titled The Kempe Stone Portal (the sleeve adorned with an 1849 painting of the Kempe Stone, a prehistoric tomb on the Dundonald road near Belfast). Gary grew up with Belfast's acid house scene in his ears and started working for and with David Holmes all the way through to Holmes' magnificent The Holy Pictures album in 2008. The album is the result of ten years work, twelve tracks taking in electronic pop with echoes of New Order, dub techno reminiscent of Sabres Of Paradise, a few lovely Balearic moments and some chugging 4AD style shimmer rock. This one is Morning Star and is currently hitting all the sweet spots.
The Reid brothers knew how to cover a song, usually in a ton of feedback and snarl. Their version came out in 1988 and I wore out my cassette copy of Barbed Wire Kisses playing side two's first four songs over and over- play, rewind, play, rewind (Sidewalking, Who Do You Love, Surfin' USA and Everything's Alright When You're Down, some B-sides better than many of their peer's A-sides).
If you want to find another updated version of the spirit Jim and William Reid recast for 2021 the new two track release from Danish producer Trentemoller should satisfy. The lead song Golden Sun is all pattering drum machines and sunlit melodies, slow paced synth work and a lovely late 80s indie guitar line, shades of the Cocteau Twins and The Cure .
The flipside, in every way, is Shaded Moon, a stuttering drum machine just like the Mary Chain circa 1988, a Joy Division bassline and then some William Reid indebted guitar work, all sounding referential but thoroughly now too. Buy both tracks here.