This is the best. They combine the best of postpunk, pop, and yes, prog rock. First track Feed the Enemy distinctly sounds like the best parts of Pink Floyd songs like Have a Cigar, the tempo, the bassline, the analog synths, with a distinct postpunk new wave angle. Same with their song Thin Air. Other standouts are Cut-out Cruelty, then insane Back to Nature (what kind of a futuristic song/rhythm is this???), and Permafrost.
Then unbelievably, the opening/main riff of Belive that I Understand sounds like My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver, a whole host of late 1980s/early-mid 1990s shoegazer bands. And this was made in 1979! The remaster comes with a cover version of Captain Beefheart’s “I Love You Big Dummy”!
Top notch stuff, my favorite album at the moment. Also see some almost-as-equally great Stranglers albums, including the great Raven and Black and White, which some of Secondhand Daylight tracks are simliar to. Other reference points: Brian Eno, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Joy Division, Birthday Party, Siouxsie and the Banshees (the guitarist went on to play in Siouxsie and the Banshees), Blur, Gorillaz, Stereolab, and…Radiohead, which covered a Magazine song or two.
Check out some of their album Magic, Murder and the Weather, I especially like the song Great Man’s Secrets, which is a great disco/ska/dub/new wave electro dance song that bands like !!! and Hercules and Love Affair only wish they could write.
See this post, Magazine–Motorcade, Cut Out Shapes, Permafrost for some of their live/promo videos.