Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, New Order and even My Bloody Valentine have inspired so many bands to the point where current modern pop music is so saturated (although not over-saturated) with moody, electronic and reverb-filled sounds. Part Time does the sound justice, but is it mere mimicry or refreshing tribute? New album, PDA, doesn’t hold back its influences.
“I Want To Go” screams The Cure, with Robert Smith-like vocals and guitar; it’s so packed with chorus pedal and overall charm that it’s not hard to give it to the band for attempting such a feat. “I Won’t Be Your Little Secret” is actually more a send-up to Talk Talk, with sexy ’80s guy vocals, new wave drums and just enough pop sentimentality to pull it together. “Night Drive” is a synth pop song. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s somewhat reminiscent of the Drive soundtrack, as obvious as that sounds. The low whisper of the vocals give it a dream pop flare, but the overall kitschiness of it takes away from the mood Part Time is trying to convey.
The album’s title track, “PDA,” is after Duran Duran’s heart, with quirky synth sounds and minimal, electronic drums. It’s pretty obvious the era influencing Part Time by now, but at least they don’t stick to one artist. You get a lot of shoegaze groups emulating just My Bloody Valentine or just Ride. Part Time gets the collective alternative ’80s in a nice little package. PDA is an album easy to jump into, but it requires a lot of chilling out and chlling down to really appreciate the gloomy, poolside mood it conveys. Part Time gets their influences right, but their ability to mesh the best of the best is together makes PDA a strong release.