college

Back in 2011, while the film critics were all fawning over Drive, their musical counterparts were similarly enraptured by Cliff Martinez’ brooding soundtrack to the film. Saturated with colour and effortlessly sleek synth droning, the opening half was where College neatly slotted in, and ‘A Real Hero’ was both the statement of intent and the centrepiece that the whole thing seemed to hinge on. Of course, ‘Secret Diary’ embodies the same sleazy night-driving and neon echo, only with fourteen songs to sprawl across and a far more relentless aesthetic – so much so that the synths on each track here can seem all too anonymous alongside each other. Luckily for David Grellier, though, he is skilled at what he does, and in feeling around for the ultimate 1980s America synth-pop throwback he’s produced a set of songs – particularly the luscious, spiralling homage to The La’s ‘She Never Came Back’, and the tense, rising futurism of ‘Desire’ – that have given a slick and stylish sound to nostalgia.

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