After kicking around in the LA music scene, Juno and Spark AKA Peppermint Heaven decided to venture to the UK to launch their music; after all, this is the home of many of their influences. Taking their name from a pre-Smiths Morrissey track from his time with Slaughter & The Dogs, Peppermint Heaven establish themselves as clearly being hugely influenced by the sounds and styles from the period.
Precious Things epitomises 80s electro pop: it's got hypnotic beats, a bassline that you want to dance to, with some poetic yet cheesy lyrics and a great hook. Juno's quivering vocals are perfect for this musical reinvention and revival. Stranger Than Fiction is a sexy little number which wouldn't be out of place in a Michael Mann or Brian De Palma film. The Waiting Game has the feel of a Human League track with a pop rhythm and some complementary harmonies. Words Colliding has a robotic Gary Numan meets Jon Foxx influence and is delivered in a blaze of new wave glory. Loneliness has a melancholic vocal matched by a swirling psychedelic electro backdrop. It's a bit Giorgio Moroder meets This Is Not America and a superbly haunting track.
Midway through the album, Foreign Feeling lifts the album to a more poppy feel which continues with the insightful The Cage That We Live In. Broken Pieces takes on a darker feel and is heavily Pet Shop Boys influenced. The Girl I Used To Know incorporates the use of keys to create a more funk vibe, which is helped by the Robert Palmer style bass line. Talk To Me adds a bit of street flavour to the album as a nod to the 80s hip hop scene with a dark and heavy bass line and drum beat packed with plenty of attitude to boot and underscore a sinister love song.
If this were 1983 then the album would seem futuristic, but now it seems wonderfully retro and a reminder of a time when huge studio productions and an over-reliance on computerised music didn't make the music soulless. Peppermint Heaven has the courage to go back to the grass roots, strip the tracks back to the bones and focus on the song. The band may not be about to rewrite the tapes of the 80s, but their debut is certainly indie-pop glory.