Here is the latest reviews from me taken from the review site Futurepopsucks.
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
Don’t believe the hype! The Klaxons have been touted as one of the greatest new bands of the year and as you can probably guess this is one of the biggest pieces of spin since Bush and Blair mentioned Saddam’s WMD.
Labeled as new rave by some desperate hack (probably one of the fuckwits at the NME), you would expect The Klaxons to be pushing the indie dance bandwagon in new exciting directions. Instead you get the same stodgy beats and limp wristed white boy funk and feeble electronics that have crippled every UK indie band who have ever tried to put some dance influence into their traditional rock sounds.
Where as bands like !!! and Soulwax know had to do the indie dance rock funk thing with gusto, The Klaxons just sound like a band who once heard a dance track on the radio. The most disturbing thing about is that the Test-Icicles did the same thing but better a couple of years before hand and were lambasted for it and they did it with a bit more of and edge.
To be honest this is an album that should only appeal to the trendier than thou twats of Hoxton or the desperate middle class indie kid who thinks he likes dance music but can’t really deal with the more working class and minority attachments dance culture has. The Klaxons are more in common with Jesus Jones and EMF than cutting edge dance like Dubstep, Grime and the numerous hybrid styles being pumped out by labels like Planet Mu.
Do yourself a favour avoid this like the plague and go buy some proper old school rave records instead. Which still sound more alive and cutting edger than the Klaxons will ever do. Myths of the near future? More like the mistakes of the last 20 years. Avoid like the plague. (2/10)
Dälek - Abandoned Language
Most people believe that hip-hop has got to the dogs as an art form. Sure if you just look at all the bling, bitches and blunts hip-hop that dominates the charts and the radio. However there is a lot of fantastic music being made under the hip-hop banner. Bands like the now defunct Antipop consortium, artists like MF Doom and labels like Def Jux offer the flipside to the commercial crap that is chucked at the mainstream audience.
Dälek are a part of this underground and are perhaps the band that is the most way out there. The fact that they recorded an album with avant-garde legends Faust and have been previously described as the hip-hop My Bloody Valentine should give you the idea they are light years away from the likes of 50 Cent.
Abandoned Language is Dälek’s fifth album and perhaps their finest release so far. If their last album Absence was a dark blast of noise infused rap that had more in common with Techno Animal and Godflesh than any other hip-hop bands, then Abandoned Language is the rough hangover from that sonic attack..
Like the best albums its one of those records that grows on you with every listen. Details in the sound appear where previously there was a wall of static. Rhythms seem to flow where previously there was just broken beats. MC Dälek’s vocals slowly appear from the sonic murk to force home the band’s message.
Abandoned Language is a heavily layered album that takes time and patience. All of which makes it an album to constantly return to and discover more on each listen. People looking for instant pop thrills need not apply; those with a more discerning ear will be rewarded by what is one of the best underground hip-hop releases of recent years. (8/10)
!!! - Myth Takes
Punk funk and electro-indie dance have probably become the most overcrowded genre of recent years and as always the quality has slacken as more bands jump on the bandwagon. Thankfully one of the originators of the post punk revival groove are back to show the Johnny come latelys how it should be done.
“Myth Takes” is !!!’s third album and their most cohesive so far. Their seld titled debut album and the follow up “Louden up Now” had moments of greatness but Myth takes is a solid release from start to finish.
Solid touring has made the band one hell of a solid groove machine and on tracks like “Bend over Beethoven” and “Break In Case Of Anything” the rhythm hits you like a funk steamroller. If these songs don’t get you arse moving and your toes tapping you must be clinically dead or a Keane fan (research has shown both conditions are closely linked).
One thing is noticeable about “Myth Takes” is that there is more of an electronic impulse in the songs, this is best heard on the first single taken from the album “Heart of Hearts” its keyboard throbs and backing vocals remind me of the industrial disco funk of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, which is never a bad thing in my book.
!!! are currently way ahead of the pack of indie bands trying to get some dance floor action going. Forget what you’ve read about new rave and mediocre bands like the Klaxons this is the real deal. If you want raucous funk and electro then get this album as otherwise you will be myth out on some seriously booty shaking party music. (8/10)
Grinderman - Grinderman
Let’s cut straight to the chase, this isn’t a return to the sounds of The Birthday Party and that isn’t a bad thing at all. The Birthday Party were a necessary hormone fueled blues punk blast, Mr Cave and companions are now almost dignified members of the rock aristocracy. A return to relive those youthful days would just be plain wrong in my etes and seem cynical in a time where post punk revivalism has become defacto.
Instead Grinderman is closer the earlier sounds of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds; we’re talking a return to the grittiness of The First Born Is Dead and the swagger of Murder Ballads not the gospel limpness of Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus era Bad Seeds. Thank fuck for that.
Grinderman sees the Bad Seeds stripped down to a four piece, with Mr Cave now on guitar duties and strewth does its work. From the opening salvo of “Get It On” and “No Pussy Blues”, Grinderman kicks ass. Both are thrilling blasts of fuzz guitar and slamming rhythm topped off with witty and humorous lyrics. Nick Cave hasn't be so savagely funny in a long time and it again highlights why he is one of the best songwriters and narrators of his generation.
The rest of the album follows a similar pattern of raucous punk blues guitar and noisy bass and drums, only slowing down with the atmospheric “Man in The Moon” and the laugh out loud geek tribute “Go Tell the Women”.
Grinderman is the best thing Mr Cave has done in years, and shows that age isn’t a problem when it comes to rocking out. Shame the majority of new bands lack the bollocks and playfulness of their elders. Now I’m thirsty for the next installment. (8/10)
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