Huang Chung – “Huang Chung” (1982)

huangchungIt wasn’t until I was researching the To Live and Die in L.A. Soundtrack that I learned that Wang Chung had previously gone by the name Huang Chung (same pronunciation… different lettering).  And that’s the only reason I knew that that this copy of Huang Chung was in fact Wang Chung’s debut when I came across it the other day.  And I figured for three bucks, why not?

This is one of those times I wish I had a graphic equalizer, because Huang Chung sounds a bit flat.  It could use a little stretching out on both he low and high ends.  That being said, this is a surprisingly good record, a true precursor to the new wave explosion that would wash over us like a wave the following year in 1983.  There are dreamy tracks like “Ti-Na-Na” but also some up-tempo (and saxophone-filled because, after all, it’s the early 1980s) pop-rockers like “Straight From My Heart”.  The high point is undoubtedly “China”, a brisk-paced catchy number that doesn’t take itself too seriously.