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Once tipped as the next big thing, Mancunian electro-pop outfit Performance seemed to be on the cusp of greatness then- ‘ Boom!’ cue self implosion, in-fighting and the loss of a major label deal, leaving a divided band who were barely on speaking terms. But Performance have survived, regrouped, reorganised and rediscovered their love for great pop music and it certainly shows on their comeback album ‘Red Brick Heart’. This is an album full of epic synth laden pop hooks that finds Performance halfway between the gutter and the stars. It’s an album of contrasts, of beauty and squalor, optimism and shattered dreams and possibly an album that could only come from a city like Manchester. Dark sarcastic lyrics merge with sweeping synths and guitars and whilst ‘Red Brick Heart’ is undoubtedly a pop album, it is quite clearly not from the lobotomised school of song-writing. This is intelligent literate pop of the highest order which is no surprise; after all there aren’t too many bands that are fronted by a published novelist.
You’d be hard pressed to find a filler on the album but standout tracks such as “The Love,”“ O Surgeon” and the fantastic “Reptile” have sharper hooks than Abu Hanzer watching back to back screenings of “Rolling Thunder,” “Candyman” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. If you enjoy swaggering anthemic pop that will exercise your mind as well as your feet then this is a performance you can’t fail to enjoy.