6 Sep 2017
LCD Soundsystem may have disbanded in 2011, but it never, really, felt like they were away. The documentary Shut Up and Play The Hits, chronicling their last ever concert at Madison Square Garden, came out in 2012; a five-LP, three-hour-plus, meticulously mastered behemoth containing almost every moment of that same concert was released in early 2014. Then in Christmas of 2015, they released their comeback single Christmas Will Break Your Heart. Not long after, they announced a new album would come along soon.
And here it is; what’s most immediately interesting about it is that it doesn’t sound like a vaulted comeback effort, or the sound of a band cashing in on a sound that made them famous (and rich). There are no wheels spinning here. Instead, it sounds like a particularly emotionally fraught “what I did on my holiday”. This is the most introspective disc of their career, which says a lot about a band who burst onto the scene with a spoken word track detailing band leader James Murphy’s fear that he’s no longer ‘cool’, before listing his record collection. But this introspection works, partly because there’s no question of Murphy’s sincerity, and partly because it sees the band using their abilities to construct tight, punchy, dance-punk cathedrals like they’re a group of builders, to deliver an album of deep emotional scope. It’s not the kind of music that could aptly be described as fan-service (it’s too morose for that), but it does have running through it a sense of accountability to the people listening, a wise move given the (perhaps justified) controversy Murphy found when he chose to reform the band.
5 Sep 2017
Sometime while I was hiding from my Earthly troubles in the corner of an English Field at End of the Road this weekend, London six piece HMLTD released their fifth and sixth songs unto the world. Their radical restructuring of pop music, their unparalleled commitment to looking ridiculous, and their insatiable live performances make them the most unique new band in the world today. So fully formed after just three singles, it has to be said that just how big this band get is going to be down to how ready for them the world is, rather than how much they can develop.
Three years ago, I was lucky enough to see Flyte support Bombay Bicycle Club, and I fell in love with their sound. Then it was all jittering, bouncy pop and as they released tracks like Please Eloise, I got more and more excited at the idea of their album. Since then, the four piece have been crafting a newer, perhaps more mature sound, and it's utterly gorgeous. The Loved Ones pulsates with beautiful melodies, swirling harmonies and thought-provoking lyrics.
|Photo: Justin Drew|
Go Chi Minh are a freakoid rock 'n' roll quartet from the outer reaches of South London, whose reptilian sleaze rock oozes with all the depravity and fucked-in-the-'ed hilarity you could ever ask for. Their new EP, A Lusty Taste For Noise strings you along for a wild ride, the band like a tour guide cackling madly to himself as you pass the monuments. Swampy garage rock guitars saunter, drum machines tick, synthesisers glitch, and vocals holler, mutter and ritualistically tut-tut.