Opening with a brat beating bass and melody that is scarily reminiscent of some late 70s euro disco pathos, it�s only when Brian James� raunchy guitar kicks in that you know you�re well away from the lights of that dance floor and in the grips of a very different master. A hedonistic web of Bators� beloved conspiracy theorizing, the logical successor to the Wanderers� paranoia-packed repertoire, �Open Your Eyes� previewed a closet of horrors that embraced organized religion, the impending World Tour of Pope John Paul II, Bolshevik plots and Ronald Reagan�s apparent rush towards nuclear Armageddon. With session man Matt Black�s synthesizers giving the whole thing a classic rock feel that merged edgily with the band�s own punkish sensibilities, it was, as always, Bators� viperous lyrics that brought the whole thing into the twilight zone of pre-Internet intrigue. The 80s politicking of Margaret Thatcher�s Britain and Reagan�s cold war America pretty much ensured that both sides were far happier not having to open their eyes. A gleeful Bators was there, though, to make sure they did.
from The Lords of the New Church (IRS 44797-5029-2), available on CD (A&M)
"Destination Unknown" sounds the least dated of all of Missing Persons' hits, most likely because it was their most melodically satisfying song. The fact that it's also Dale Bozzio's least mannered vocal performance, with none of her trademark hiccups, helps considerably as well. Her helium-pitched voice ? Dale Bozzio sang like a new wave Betty Boop ? keeps this song firmly in the Missing Persons tradition, but the low-key backing vocals by her male bandmates on the chorus are a nice touch. The lyrics are typically lightweight, your basic high school-level musings on alienation by someone who has just learned the word "existential" but is unclear about what it actually means, but Ken Scott's light-handed production and nice touches like the staccato programmed drum fills on the chorus make it pleasant on the ear regardless.