Thursday, September 5, 2013


Here's the answer to the theoretical question, what if Ian Curtis hadn't committed suicide, but through intervention and talk therapy had cheered up a bit, and then re-joined his fellow band mates, happily following the more dancey-techno path they would soon embrace?  In other words, a slightly-gloomy, shoe-gazey New Order, with more guitar?  Methinks it might sound like this new L.A. duo, fond of pretty much anything post-1978 with a synth in it.  They like their old-school drum machines, their Britpop melodies on top of dance grooves, a little psych to add to the atmosphere, and low, earnest singing and lyrics.

The big breakthrough is the blend here, which does the tough trick of making the more dark elements of the music and mood succumb to the danceable, happy side.  It's not as disparate as it might seem on paper, as one side tends to balance off the other.  There's lots of echo and slightly-muddy singing, for instance, but the clean machines shine some light in.  Big, melodic bass lines contend with distorted or jangly guitar.  A little noise here and there offsets the programming.  It's a fine compromise album, for people who like a bit of everything and aren't too snobby about their genres.

No comments:

Post a Comment