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Published in New Musical Express
Date 11/4/81
Entitled "Scars of Destiny"
By Paul Morley

THE SCARS epitomise the post-punk new seriousness that has radically re-activated pop music, destroying the dichotomy between intelligence and emotion and confronting a whole range of different fears and desires. New pop that treats the transient thrill seriously.
New pop, the matter-realism that is today's heroic retaliation, has imagination and conviction. It screams to the outer limits, dreams to the inner limits, its themes are maudlin and magnificent and the effect is both ephemeral and complicated.
'Author! Author!' is such a spectacle. it hasn't the songs of 'Kilimanjaro' or 'The Affectionate Punch', the panic of 'Real Life', the physicality of 'The Scream, the unknown pleasures of 'Unknown Pleasures', but 'Author! Author!' isn't out of place in such company.

It's taken two years for The Scars to organise this LP and it's a wonder they don't sound exhausted - they've been messed around and missed out so much since they switched from Fast to Pre. It must've been a hell of a nuisance.
Scars' challenge-pop is dominated by sexy and dazzling Paul Research guitars : a subtle fury. Characterised by young and self-absorbed Rob King vocals : based on dreams. Balanced by curling John Mackie bass and lifting Steve McLaughlin drums: underdone disco, a good and evil duet. Producer Robert Blamire on a debut ride that is simply exceptional.
Melodramatic arrangements are set in bristling, balmy space, on an edge between solmnity and sensuality, with the focus U2 didn't get on 'Boy', that Penetration almost got on 'Moving Targets'.

At their most impressive - 'Leave Me in the Autumn'. 'Obsessions', 'All About You' - The Scars decorate/deprecate melancholy mood music with trickling pop impudence. A listener can never settle, never escape the underlying struggle.
The tension comes from the balance between the innocent and the sardonic, between delicate impulses and hard-headed concentration.
'Your Attention Please' places this collection of erotic hedonism, wistful concern, desolation and desperation in a tragically simple pre-war context. Already a gold flexi-disc inside the current i-D, made to be played last at discos, it's a dulled but plausible final announcement before a nuclear strike.
"Statistically it is not likely to be you...Death is the last thing we have to fear...".
Long live death! (The futurism pours out of me!)
the LP finishes, after we've been promised three minutes to live, with the deluxe Scars single 'All About You'.

LPs are not the place for pop music, yet The Scars have created something worth consuming and contemplating. It's only one of two long players released this year on pop labels that I'd seriously suggest you pay up and pay attention to. Ten songs of first class fashion and post-adolescent passion.

The Scars will be stars: they're the new craze. The stage is theirs.

Applause! Applause!

Published in Sounds
Date 4/4/81
Entitled "Twilight Romance"
By Dave McCullough

ROCK'N'ROLL'S intuitive creative capabilities, its potential as 'pop art' being everywhere and just needing a spark to set it broadly alight, a notion given sustenance by the current Scotland! The Scene! The Bands! schtick, is further fuelled by the truly prodicious arrival of 'Author! Author!.
How else could a band so apparently finished and broken as The Scars, blighted by a series of badly produced and publicised Pre singles suddenly re-emerge with an album that totally reflects the promise of their early Fast/Last days, but that they come from the land of Orange Juice, Josef K, Aztec Camera, Altered Images and growing others, the 'scene' (sic) of the Last Stand Of Pop Music?

The Scars have been given a second life and they take it with a vengeance. 'Author! Author!' is enought to get Postcard worried! It is a truly luscious album, clearly motivated not only by the Postcardian new-pop-bypassing, but also the underlying influences to the Scars of such removes as JD's 'Atmosphere' and The Fall (big fans)'s 'Shout Your Heart Out.'

'A!A!' is an album teeming with a sense of refound faih in the pop ethic - Scars go to extreme lengths to prove it! There are four tracks on here that end, truly, with grandiose flourishes of Paul Research's guitar, depicting dry ice, kicking up of sand, in short completely over the top dramatisation. But they fit the exaggerated sense of new romanticism perfectly.
New Romanticisn? Scars are in love! And they love being in love! This is genuine and natural, a true neo-Platonism and enough to make Steve Strange give his table-cloth back to his grannie. 'A! A!' is all Alain Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes, a sense of the twilight world between childhood and adulthood, a sense of dwindling confusion. The other half of the album, incidentally (I go for the romance!) is Le Carre or Raymond Chandler, early Scars, traits of Punk and Iggy, fast and funny.
Funny? Scars can laugh at themselves! They see the funny side of neo-Platonism when you've got a gritty, unfortunate Edinburgh accent. This provides a surreal, almost sci-fi effect, which is all aided by a production that's a big reaction to their Pre singles and is big and roomy enough for everyone to take a bath in it.'A! A!' is over the top in every sense and beautiful for it.

Beauty? It comes in moments, perhaps especially on the last two tracks. First is 'Your Attention Please!'. A nuclear holocaust warning and not too corny with it, followed by a ticking clock, followed by a voice saying in three minutes the world will end (three minutes! a pop sing's life!) followed marvellously by a classic of a love/pop song, 'All About You' - the epic contrast, the drama, so simple and reserved (for once) is nonetheless strikingly effective. I wish more people would make albums like this.
Along with Clock Dva and Eyeless In Gaza, and Album of The Year So Far.