on 30 March 2005
I was a bit wary of this latest album from the New York-based collective due to reports of cheesy female vocals being added into the mix. In fact, this album is a distinct and largely successful departure from the STREET DAD template, stripping away the post-rock inflections in favour of ESG-vocals and No Wave artful funkiness. It takes a couple of listens to get into the groove but tracks like opener, 'Its For You' and 'How Long' build from deceptively simplistic components into danceable but soulful electro-tinged pop. The lyrics are less important than the texture of the vocals - often chant-like - weaving in and out of the mix, intertwining with lean, catchy, New Order guitar hooks and gleaming synths. In fact, the album's less successful tracks are those that veer closer to the instrumental template, with the 11-minute plus 'Dear Mr Bush...' failing to live up to STREET DAD's acid monster of similar length and '2005: A Face Odyssey' and 'The Song So Good They Named It Thrice' suffering from stop-start indecisiveness and a feeling of over-familiarity. Where tracks on their last album tended towards deconstruction, 'Old Nude' evolves from industrial dubbiness into infectious poppiness. Although there is similar (lesser, in my view) stuff happening on DFA, other contemporary comparisons might be Goldfrapp's Black Cherry or Herbert co-hort Dani Siciliano's solo work, but it largely feels outside the recent all-conquering trends from their native NYC - and all the better for it!
on 23 January 2006
Similar to !!! & LCD Soundsystem but with more of a dance slant than an indie one. It is a much more listenable album than STREET DAD was (or indeed the two bands mentioned ealier), as each track is more focused and uses simple ideas but manages to sound complex (more like !!! in that respect), and that's what makes this album so great. It's like Leftfield's Leftism in that it's a dance album that you can listen to at home on your stereo. Leftfield's album was the pinnacle of dance/electronic music in the nineties and this deserves to be considered as the pinacle of noughties thus far. Other comparions can also be drawn with Leftism, with it having a mix of tempos, vocal and instrumental tracks, with no filler (10 tracks is just the right length) or cheese. It strongly hints at the direction dance music should take in the coming years, and what is really going on away from the media circus.
Don't miss out, buy this! It is a rare thing in music these days - an album that flows and won't have you reaching for the track skip button.
Highlights: One Life To Leave and Dear Mr Bush, there are...
on 10 March 2005
Out Hud are a 5 piece electro clash outfit from New York, made up of original members of LCD Soundsystem and !!! in a kind of hybridization of the bands. This is the follow up to their debut album 2002's 'S.T.R.E.E.T. D.A.D.. and it pushes their sound and indeed the boundaries of dance music further than before with an orgy of electro beats, dub, punk and disco moments. Out Hud's style of music is extremely hard to pigeonhole but it has been described as 'Mutant Disco' which sounds like as fitting a description as any other. There are some great moments on the album especially on 'It's for you' and 'Old Nude' where some great vocals really lend themselves to the Out Hud sound.