Flock of Seagulls

The Musical. Missing Link?

By Kevin Gibson

When A Flock of Seagulls soared into the public eye in I982, they were labeled new wave. If Darwin had turned his attentions to music, he might even say this band — best known for its smash "I Ran" — is the missing link between disco and alternative.

"We're an alternative to alternative," corrected Mike Score, lead singer, keyboardist and driving force behind this group.

AFOS was certainly met with enthusiasm by those who attended the band's Feb. 21 show at a crowded Phoenix Hill Tavern, especially when '80s era hits such as "I Ran," "Wishing," "Space Age Love Song" and "The More You Live, the More You Love" grooved into the club.

Don't think Score and his three fellow Seagulls (none of whom are original members) dwelled on the past, however; rather, AFOS spent much of its time promoting a new album, "The Light at the End of the World,?° now out on Big Shot Records (and soon to be re-released on Score's own newly created label, as Big Shot recently went out of business).

Drawing most of the show from this disc, including the new single, "Rainfall," the 'Gulls appeared to be having more fun playing the new stuff than the old. Not surprising, although the new songs are identical to the old sound. It's all dance beats and synthesizers, while lyrically it's a simple pop. If nothing else, give the band credit for sticking to its guns Score plays what he likes. Period.

"I'm not gonna go grunge," he said with a thick English accent. "And I'm not gonna go reggae."

Furthermore, he said, he appreciates the positive response to the new songs.

"We're going around educating people that this is the '90s – even thought the 80s were cool," he said. "We have a lot of fun doing it, and audiences really respond to it."

The band split in 1986 after disappoint ing followups to their smash debut, but Score got the fever again in early '89 and resumed his music career. He went through several musicians before finding the cur rent regular lineup, "and it just turned into A Flock of Seagulls again." With loads of new originals, AFOS decided to go back into the studio and try to sell its sound to a new generation of music listeners.

"It was time to make a new album," Score said. "I think it's the best one we've made." Opening up for AFOS was southern Indiana's 100 Acre Wood (that's "hundred," not "one hundred"), and though the six of them were quite cramped on the smallish stage, their act made it to every comer of the room. .

This eclectic young outfit went from blues to folk to rock (and even stopped briefly for a country parody) and back again, cranking out smooth originals like aged veterans.

Word is, they've got a new disc out, too' If you like to dance, fly with the Seagulls. If a fresh, honest approach strikes your fancy take a walk in the woods.