Les Techno’s decorated history behind the desk and front of house has fostered a mastery of production and songwriting. Having worked with Run DMC, Mobb Deep, and played the NYC gig circuit relentlessly, Les has infused his mental archive with a rich array of styles, instruments, ideas, and innovations. ‘Come Along’ contains myriad components from the 80s stewed together with a sprinkling of social satire on top, paying homage to a vintage sound while etching out Les’s own musical persona.
Perhaps you’re reticent to read further having come across the dreaded ‘80s’ comparison, but fear not – Les Techno takes his cues solely from the alternative basket of artists from that era. Punk-tinged New Wave, old-school hip-hop beats, wah-wah guitar solos, and chorus-washed instrumentation (arguably the most essential ingredient for all things 80s-revival) are on display. Think The Cult, XTC, or INXS over hair metal and sugar-laden pop disasters.
His experience with hip-hop royalty is explicit via the addictive snap and pop of the beats. The production on the snare alone is fantastic; his mixing really brings it to life, and thankfully, it isn’t oversaturated with gated reverb, a common crime from the era.
The scrappy riffing and Les’s softly reverberated, crooning vocals sound like something straight out of a classic movie’s montage sequence. His voice carries that confident but quivering quality, traceable to Bowie through Byrne, only a hint huskier. Hook after hook, with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, Les Techno has charm, wit and charisma in the bag. Come the chorus, things get more anthemic and belting – Les’s range and tone are more in line with the dramatic wailing of one Ian Astbury.
The muscle-y aspects don’t end there: ripping wah-wah solos race across the track at various intervals, providing some edge without verging into cheesy territory. No obnoxious shredding, just slick pentatonic meanderings à la Hendrix.
‘Come Along’ is a testament to Les Techno. The basis of his songwriting is remarkably simple, but careful construction and ornamentation bleed character and catchiness at every turn. A worthy revival piece.