V/A Heroes of the Night, Vol. 2: Punk, Pop & Wave From the UK Underground ’80–’84 LP

The second chapter of Reminder’s dig through the lost artifacts of femme-fronted ’80s power pop and new wave from the UK, and even more so than with the first installment, most of the twelve tracks here could only really be considered “punk” by proximity—the BLONDIE-esque girl-group beat of SHELLY STEVENS’s “Secret Love” and the WALK’s synth(etic) pop anthem “I Didn’t Catch Your Name” could have easily soundtracked a high school dance scene in some mid-’80s teen coming-of-age flick that couldn’t afford the rights to CYNDI LAUPER, and that isn’t meant as a slight, merely an acknowledgment. The driving post-punk moodiness of AQUILA’s “Fall” (think the AU PAIRS by way of the BANSHEES) is the notable outlier in this bunch and makes it worth smashing the “buy” button on its own, but the sassed-up SHIVVERS-like power pop from L’HOMME DE TERRE (“Get a Grip”), PLEASURE DOME’s sugary, keyboard-swirled twee (“Heaven’s Daughter”), and CHOIRGIRLS’ “I Should Have Kissed Him Then” (crystalline new wave, with the added eccentric twist of a Casio rhythm machine preset clashing with live drums) are all sweet-tooth treats, if you’re not adverse to such things.