Sunday, 23 November 2014

We Have A Ghost - We Have A Ghost

"Haunting" isn't a word I use often, mostly because it's been so badly used before, but for this debut album I'm going to roll it out and throw it around with gusto. Ten tracks of slow to mid tempo (mostly) instrumental music that just sits with you, on your shoulder, and plays a series of varied tunes that are both happy, filled with drive and melancholy, filled with slow, purposeful thought (quite often at the same time).

Musically it's a broad church, mixing in trad industrial, triphop/breakbeat, rock, prog, light alterative, and just generally anything that happened to be lying around and that sounded good. And, very importantly, it isn't a mess. It's not 'an eclectic mix' or anything randomly put together, it's a very clear vision of a sound that just happens to have a lot of facets to it. It's got bits that sound like the intermissions on a Nine Inch Nails album, bits that could be 69DaysOfStatic, bits that reminded me of some forgotten 80's mid-west guitar act, and a whole lot that could have come from American Horror Story if they needed a club scene. And it's a debut album from a one-man act (I think, the material on it is rather vague but surprisingly not annoying).  The only thing it doesn't have is a best track, as they all work so well together that I don't want to pick anything out for closer inspection and instead just want you to listen to the whole thing.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Human Zoo - Electrix Six

It turns out that Electric Six did more than just release four of explosively daft disco-rock singles in 2003, and rather than a comeback attempt (as I first thought) this album is their 11th. So, having missed the last 11 years of their development, I'm wondering "how much have they changed?". The answer is "not really", as this is 13 daft disco-rock tracks but with a slight touch of lounge-funk and soul thrown in because it just works really nicely. It's also rather good and it's always cool to see people carrying on with what they enjoy and focusing on fun over form, but still having the time and the skill to play around and prove that they really know their craft.

There is also no Gay Bar instant-easy-classic, so don't expect anything on here to become the ubiquitous nonsense song of the year (decade?). Rather it's a batch of enjoyable and well crafted, slightly less manic, tunes. "It's Horseshit" is a steady slice of disco-heaven, "Alone with your body" has got soul coming out of all of its hot and sweaty pores, and "I've seen Rio in flames" has a 50's-musical feel to it, giving off more than a one trick pony pony. Then again "Worst Movie Ever" and "I need a restaurant" are thumping guitar fun, so we're not a hundred miles away from their known sound. As you might be able to tell they continue to be both obtuse and ridiculously trivial with their lyrics, "Who the hell just called my phone" and "Good view of the Violence" being particularly daft in so many wonderful ways. Sadly fewer mentions of "fire" compared to their first album, but I suppose some things have to change for the worse.

So whilst this CD may not change anyone's life it may certainly being a bit of joy to your day, without being overtly soppy, and it should definitely put a rye smile on your face. If you want something to play at a party or just to get a bit of lighthearted bounce into your life then this album is for you.