This week in Reunions Nobody Asked For: U.K. new wave pop-punks and one-hit wonders The Vapors return with their first new studio album since their 19981 sophomore set Magnets. Assuming you remember them at all, it is undoubtedly for their enigmatic hit single Turning Japanese, which was widely (and if you believe the band, falsely) presssumed to be a cheeky little ditty about excessive and obsessive wankery. I can’t tell you what the hell the song was really about. But I can tell you this: While there are a couple of encouragingly spiky moments on this dozen-track comeback album, none of them is even half as robustly unforgettable as the sizzling bolt of white-hot lightning in a bottle that was Turning Japanese. I really think so. So when it comes to this disc: Avoid it like a cyclone ranger. Whatever the hell that means.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The Vapors are a U.K. New Wave band formed in the late ’70s in Surrey. Discovered by The Jam’s bass player Bruce Foxton playing in a local pub The Vapors were invited to tour with The Jam on the Setting Sons tour in 1979. Foxton along with Paul Weller‘s father John undertook management duties and the band signed to United Artists. The band’s big break came in 1980 when Turning Japanese reached No.3 in the UK charts, No.1 in Australia and Billboard Top 40 in the USA taken from their debut album, the now-iconic New Clear Days written during a time when the threat of Cold War still loomed large. Second album, Magnets released in 1981, spawned the single Jimmie Jones referencing the religious / cult leader Jim Jones. In 1982 the band called it a day after United Artists were purchased by EMI. Dave Fenton returned to being a Music Lawyer and Ed Bazalgette went into TV as a director with recent credits including Poldark. In Oct 2016 the band reformed, with Michael Bowes replacing Howard Smith on Drums. The band are continuing to play and perform throughout the U.K.”