The ContrastView in iTunes
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Hailing from the comparatively tiny English Midlands town of Peterborough (roughly halfway between Birmingham and Cambridge), the Contrast are an unpretentious guitar pop group akin to the Dentists and other '80s U.K. indie guitar bands, albeit with a stronger debt to late '70s new wave acts like Television and Blondie. The group's original lineup was a trio around singer/songwriter and guitarist David Reid, bassist Chris Corney, and drummer James Crossley, who recorded 2000's Mystery #1 for the U.K. indie label Rainbow Quartz Records. After those sessions, Corney left the group and was replaced by second guitarist Spencer Hart and new bassist Richard Mackman. This revised lineup recorded the Contrast's follow-up album, Wireless Days, in 2002, as well as 2004's Fade Back In. By the time the Contrast returned for a fourth album, 2005's Forget to Tell the Time, they had made a solid fan out of Little Steven, whose Underground Garage radio show regularly featured the band's music. 2007 saw the release of Underground Ghosts, and the Contrast cherry-picked tracks from their first four albums for 2008's Perfect Disguise: Introducing the Contrast, a compilation that was issued by Little Steven's Wicked Cool Records. The band's full-length Wicked Cool Records debut God of Malfunction followed two years later. ~ Stewart Mason