Roland Barker - The Eternal Optimist

Roland Barker - The Eternal Optimist

by Tom Ojendyk

Synth player Roland Barker might be most remembered by his membership in the great early 80’s Seattle [and later Boston] post-punk band, the Blackouts, but he also had several great experimental and electronic projects that started in the late 70s such as Young Scientist, Sequencer People, and Body Falling Downstairs. This release is a compilation of the self-released Vortexes from 1979 and the Eternal Optimist from 1982 and was originally released by Engram Records. Both were tape releases and are now incredibly rare, so having it available on vinyl for the first time is very welcome. Roland handles the synths and programming and uses a Wurlitzer, E-piano, tape, and sequencers while fellow Blackouts Paul Barker and the late Bill Rieflin contribute some bass and guitar. The songs are melodic, short, and not as far-out as the Young Scientist but still highly recommended for any early minimal synth fans.