All Music Guide
After over a decade fronting low-key, elegant guitar pop outfit Felt — which was prominently influenced by Television — enigmatic visionary Lawrence Hayward (who tends to shed the surname) moved on to Denim. For the new project, the Birmingham, England, native left behind the cascading guitar figures of ally Maurice Deebank for sweet, crunchy guitar and bubblegum synthesizer. 1992's Back in Denim was at once '70s revivalist — particularly in its glam-rock aspirations — and harshly critical of that decade.
The most beguiling track is the eight-minute "The Osmonds," which unravels a stream of references from the period, everything from the title group to crushed velvet flares to the IRA. Four years later, Lawrence returned with Denim on Ice, a spot-the-reference fest that, at times, echoed new wavers like Devo ("Shut Up Sidney") and Ultravox ("Synthesisers in the Rain").
No novelty album, however, it also offered biting cultural critiques (of solemn revivalism in "The Great Pub Rock Revival") and grim social realities (in "Council Houses" and "Glue and Smack"). Lawrence released an album under the moniker Go-Kart Mozart in 2000, continuing the semi-ironic course charted by Denim. — Erik Hage