Legendary synth-pop/freestyle act Information Society is back with a powerful new single, “Nothing Prevails,” which recalls the spirit of their 1988 classic dance hit “What’s on Your Mind (Pure Energy).” However, the band isn’t stuck in the past — “Nothing Prevails” is laden with the force of modernity.
The band, originally from my homeland of Minneapolis, is best known in some of the world for its 1988 self-titled, major-label debut, which gave us “Pure Energy” and gems like “Walking Away” and freestyle bliss “Running.” However, they’ve been crafting well-written cuts since then in various iterations and with some interruptions for time off. Philly-based Von Hertzog, who contributed a compelling ’80s skating-rink remix to Vehlinggo Presents: Memoryy – Not Over You (The Remixes), co-wrote “Nothing Prevails.”
It’s been 30 years since those breakout hits and, while the band’s sound might be modernized in terms of the patches the synths uses, the spirit of a band who got its name from George Orwell’s Ninteen Eighty-Four is still vibrant. While the song’s title might suggest some kind of defeatism, or even nihilism, that’s not what singer Kurt Harland Larson’s lyrics are about. Instead, he’s imploring us to stop trying to fill the holes in ourselves with useless material purchases and other sources of fleeting gratification that will inevitably leave us needing to consume and spend more in a fruitless dragon chase. The alternative is to look within — wring ourselves out with self-comprehension so that we may find a more sustainable type of contentedness.
This is an important message in 2018, when instant, and oh so temporary, gratification is sold to us as salvation. We embrace the offerings, because days are weeks now — laden with an onslaught of dystopic bad news — and we need our salve. But what Information Society is showing us is that empty bliss won’t and can’t prevail and will eat us alive in the end, but if we look within ourselves we might have a chance in hell of getting out of this mire alive.
“Nothing Prevails” is out now via Tommy Boy Records, Information Society’s original label, on Spotify, Apple Music, and other fine platforms.