Thursday, 28 August 2008

ALBUM: Late of the Pier - Fantasy Black Channel (Parlophone Records)

When I first heard about that NME-coined genre, ‘nu-rave’ *shudders*, I was assuming it would sound like this. Not the New Young Pony Club, not the Klaxons and not any dance-punk band you care to name with all the glowsticks in the world could ever be this exciting. Strange Bollywood rhythms, spiky guitars and glitchy synths make ‘The Bears Are Coming’ as quirky and inventive as anything M.I.A.’s genre-bending powers could come up with; ‘Broken’ sounds like an electro stomp through 80s glam rock; space-rocky ‘VW’ which could be Smashing Pumpkins on acid.

Plenty of musical ground is covered with skill, but Late of the Pier’s real gift is managing to not let their music dissolve into poor-Crystal Castles-imitation mess while not sounding as overwrought or affected as many of their indie brethren. Instead it’s plenty of cryptic banter, musical adventure and best of all fun from people who clearly love playing with sound and pushing boundaries.

Standout Track: The Bears Are Coming

Ollie Khakwani