Another recent Reykjavik pick-up, this one found its way into my hands via my buddy Gestur at Lucky Records. After looking through my selections he came out of the back with some additional titles, including Pax Vobis. It took me about five seconds at the listening station to realize this 1984 release was pure new wave gold, a la ABC (think “Shoot That Poison Arrow”; and I apologize for the fact that that will now be stuck in your head for the next two hours).
I started to get into music of my own choosing for the first time around 1983 – right when new wave and hair metal were really taking hold and battling it out on the charts. And I lapped it all up. Among my very first purchases were:
1. 7″ of The Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
2. 7″ of Thomas Dolby “She Blinded Me With Science”
3. Van Halen’s 1984 on vinyl
4. Quiet Riot’s Metal Health on vinyl
5. Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil on cassette
Those literally could be the first five things I bought, though I’m sure there were a few other titles sprinkled in for good measure. Those, and a very healthy dose of a new TV channel called MTV. It played these things called music videos. Maybe you’ve heard of it.
None of this really has anything to do with Pax Vobis. But they are totally 100% new wave, and their songs are all in English, so if you slipped one of their tracks into a “Greatest Hits of 1984” compilation, you’d probably think to yourself, “that sounds kind of familiar…” You’d know the style. And the band member pics on the reverse jacket… choice. Except these dudes look like they’re 15-year-old new wavers, not “adult” ones.
It’s literally textbook new wave. When human civilization destroys itself, I hope the alien archaeologists who eventually come to Earth and try to figure out what happened to our culture find my copy of Pax Vobis, because it will absolutely peg the summer of 1984. Either that or Flock of Seagulls (yes, I know that’s 1982… but still!). Get out the Aquanet, a leather jacket, and your old Casio keyboard, and get after some Pax Vobis!