- Post-Punk New-Wave Industrial-Rock
Videos / Songs ::: Links ::: Pictures
Formed 1978, Models were an alternative post-punk rock group from Melbourne, Australia; originally fronted by Sean Kelly, later also with James Freud (Colin McGlinchey). They're one of those groups whose later commercial chart success can lead many to overlook their more alternative, early work. For example, as shown in videos below, around 1982-84 their visual style was industrial-militaristic and their music was a blend of angsty new-wave-electro-industrial-funk-rock - perhaps best exemplified in God Bless America, I Hear Motion, Big on Love, & the rare non-album single On - the video for which is about as-industrial-as-industrial-imagery-can-get; all a good six-or-so years before, say, Nine Inch Nails starting doing something similar in the USA.
Earlier Models music is characterised by angsty, quirky post-punk alt/art-rock most notable for Kelly's distinctively hoarse (some say "strangled") vocal style. Freud's earlier pre-Models work includes top 10 glam-punk-pop and an electro-punk-pop-rock album produced by Gary Numan; more info below.
In 1985 Models achieved mainstream chart success in Australia with Barbados reaching #2. Scratch below the dreamy chorus the song is about trauma, despair, escapism through alcoholism and suicide. (Sadly, the song was prophetic - Freud, the co-composer and vocalist on that song, took his life in 2010). Models biggest hit was the rousing rock-n'-roll-soul track Out of Mind, Out of Sight (1985). It went #1 in Australia and top 40 in USA. Models disbanded in 1988 though have done several reunions since then. Some more notes are further below...
Most recommended album: "The Pleasure of Your Company" (1983).
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VIDEOS / SONGS
This Youtube playlist features numerous videos &/or songs. To view & move about the full list click on the word 'playlist' at the top left of the video screen.
Further background: The first single released by Models, Early Morning Bain (1979), was a shared single with The Boys Next Door. The band's eventual lead dual-vocalists, Kelly & Freud, originally played together in glam-punk-grunge group Teenage Radio Stars who performed on the national Countdown TV show in 1978. Prior to joining Models in 1982, James Freud fronted the Radio Stars (later known as Berlin) who had a top 10 hit with the catchy pop-punk song Modern Girl (video is in the YT playlist). They toured to support Gary Numan, the pioneering UK artist who had achieved top-of-the-chart success in 1979-80 with dark electro-post-punk-rock music. Numan was so impressed he offered to produce an album with Freud. A single titled Automatic Crazy was released however the album China Crimes was not - at time of writing, it's included in the YT playlist on this page. Freud disbanded the group shortly after, joining Models in 1982 as a bass player. It was a while before he became a prominent vocalist with the band.
After Models disbanded Freud had some success in the Australian charts with Hurricane; later forming groups Beatfish & Moondog. Post-Models Sean Kelly & others went on to form Absent Friends with Wendy Matthews on vocals, achieving top 10 success. Tracks by each of the aforementioned Models-related projects are featured in the Playlist.
An early member of Models, Ash Wednesday, later became a touring member of renowned German industrial band Einsturzende Neubauten & also the electro-industrial band Crashland.
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