On Saint Dymphna, Gang Gang Dance does very similar to what Battles did last year, or what bands like This Heat and The Pop Group achieved in the late 80's and early 70's respectively; hint at seemingly every single popular stylistic trend and genre that can be identified in modern underground music, yet craft an end-product that has almost no touchstone on the planet. Also like Battles and The Pop Group, hypnotic exploration of grooves, twitch-jerk unpredictability and the avant garde are the unifying philosophy behind everything here. But listening to Saint Dymphna, there's no telling where it'll be from track to track. shoegaze, post-rock, tribal world music, hip hop, dance punk, psychedellia, vocal samples, spoken word, noise, and all the bloops and beeps of club music are just a fraction of the elements that the band touches upon, often all within the same track, and none of which can even approximate a description of what listening to this album is like.
"Vacuum" sways to trash can drums while some sort of cybernetic wailing melodically mimics a guitar effect from Loveless. Spazzed out dance tracks like "First Communion" and "Desert Storm" are cluttered with spontaneous shrieks and howls, while punchy guitar squalls and constantly shifting percussion alternates with piercing synth effects. "Dust" and "Inners Pace" are the ambient explorations with electronics, samples and third world music that David Byrne and Brian Eno should've been doing this year. Then somehow, somewhere in between all this chaos, there's the song of the year, "House Jam," a club-friendly masterpiece of a song, which really just has to be heard in order to be believed. Timbaland once called M.I.A the "music of the future," but her minimalist meandering sounds like oldies in comparison to the masterful brushstroke of post-modern style and experimentalism that is achieved here. (Aron Fischer)
For fans of: Cut Copy, MIA, The Pop Group, Battles, The Knife