Screensaver

Reviews

Screensaver Clean Current / Repeats 7″

This single is the second release from Melbourne’s SCREENSAVER, following up from 2021’s full-length Expressions of Interest. “Clean Current” is a sweeping synth-pop number, with the kind of propulsive bassline and swirling, atmospheric synths that were a hallmark of early ’80s post-punk. “Repeats” is a slower, moodier piece that doesn’t do quite as good of a job at holding my interest, though vocalist Krystal Maynard has a rich, mournful singing voice that compliments the music well. SCREENSAVER is quite obviously influenced by the likes of the CURE, the SOUND, and SIOUXSIE, but you’ll never catch me complaining about that (especially if the songs are as appealing as “Clean Current” is here).

Screensaver Expressions of Interest LP

This might be the debut LP from these Naarm/Melbourne post-punks, but SCREENSAVER has existed in one form or another for a half-decade. The project started back in 2016, initially conceived as a way for Chris Stephenson (SPRAY PAINT) and Krystal Maynard (SWIM TEAM) to connect while being in an extremely long-distance relationship. Chris was based out of Austin, TX at the time with Krystal in Australia, and they would send each other recordings. Chris eventually joined Krystal Down Under, they recruited a rhythm section, began playing shows in late 2019, and started recording this LP just before COVID shut the world down. Thankfully, they were able to continue collaborating through their country’s various lockdowns to bring us this record, which is a very good one! Over these ten tracks, you can expect synth-heavy post-punk with a Krautrock backbone. It’s on the gothier end of the spectrum, thanks in part to Krystal’s excellent NICO-esque vocals, but it’s not quite as dark as, say, fellow Aussies NUN. It’s hard not to compare it to TOTAL CONTROL—a track like “Skin” even sounds like it could have come off Typical System. But where TOTAL CONTROL dips into harsher punk sounds from time to time, SCREENSAVER prefers to mix things up by going a little pop every so often, giving this album more of a new wave sheen. Just an immensely listenable record! For fans of CLAN OF XYMOX, GARY NUMAN, or early HUMAN LEAGUE.