The Comsat Angels

Erroneously regarded as a synth pop band -- and, every now and then, as a band that peaked with a song placed in a scene of Real Genius -- the Comsat Angels were one of the finest bands of the post-punk/new wave era. Often as moody if less dramatic than Joy Division, their first and best albums -- 1980's Waiting for a Miracle, 1981's Sleep No More, and 1982's Fiction -- featured abstract pop songs with spare instrumentation, many of which were bleak and filled with some form of heartache. The albums were almost unrelentingly sullen, but they were always transfixing. The band then fell prey to various commercial pressures for several years. In the '90s they resurfaced with a pair of powerful albums that resembled logical extensions of their earliest work, and then they vanished again.