16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Forwards (Audio CD)
How long have I been waiting for this album? 5 years? Dropped by Warner Brothers after the evil multinational had bought up and asset-stripped China Records, the band broke up... then they were finally back with a new line-up, some wonderful live shows every bit as good if not better than before, and then, a few weeks before the album was due out, their new record company, Bar de Lune, went bust. How frustrating is that?
Well, after all that, the album is here, and it is both familiar and significant progress from their last one (Travelator - released in the last millenium!). Ned Scott's sweeping synths that just open up your heart are still there, the spiky, funky drumming of twin-brother, Maff, is harder and funkier than ever. But where the deep geometric bass-lines of Dave Gaydon and the urgent, choppy guitar of Mark Revell used to be, there are a welter of guest musicians, strange vocal samples, more adventurous electronic stuff, and real songs. Yes, there is far more of a pop sensibility on display here, and a noticeable drift to a more urgent electroclash sound.
The sweeping melancholy chill of 'Lost at Sea' and contrasting summery vibe of 'Venice Beach' will already be familiar to many, but it's the new and unfamiliar tracks that really stand out here - the opener, 'Wall', has a chiming guitar that recalls U2 at their best, but the insistent bass throb and gentle vocals are pure New Order - however the combination is something other than either. 'She's Terrific' and 'Always There', hum with live energy, the latter with a 'story' running through it like Travelator's 'Getting Away With It', and the former with grin-inducing samples apparently found on a tape in Thailand.
I could go on, but there is not a duff track on the album. There was no-one like The Egg in the 1990s, and there is still no-one like them now. Still way ahead of the game, this is the highest quality, post-rock, post-dance, post-chill, post-everything music that constanting keeps surprising you with it's lack of respect for any genre boundaries, and just keeps on moving, well... forwards.