California post-punk quartet Translator enjoyed a brief period of acclaim in 1982 with a hit single in “Everywhere That I’m Not,” but never managed to break into the mainstream. Comprised of Steve Barton, Larry Dekker, Dave Scheff and Robert Darlington, the band delivered four solid albums between 1982 and 1986, but then called it quits.
The guys got back together 25 years later and performed at the South By Southwest musical festival, but 2012’s comeback album “Big Green Lawn” failed to generate much buzz. The folks at Omnivore are shining a light on the early days of Translator with the release of “Sometimes People Forget,” a 22-track collection of rare and unreleased material recorded between 1979 and 1985.
“We are so thrilled about this album,” Barton says. “It’s a collection of 22 demos, all hand-picked from the band’s personal archives, including tracks from when we were a trio in L.A. in 1979. Listening to the record in sequence, I really get the scope and diversity of Translator. What an amazing little band. The four of us make a pretty glorious noise together.”
It’s a nice overview of Translator’s career and includes an early version of signature tune “Everywhere That I’m Not,” along with a few other goodies. Highlights include “Optismism,” “Necessary Spinning,” “Get Out,” “We Fell Away,” “Is There a Heaven Singing,” “Friends of the Future” and “Standing in Line.” There are a couple misfires along the way — the French version of “My Restless Heart,” “Brouhaha” — but this record provides a nice trip down memory lane. (Jeffrey Sisk)