While I still think of them as a relatively young band, they’ve actually now been together for close to ten years and are releasing their forth full album, Luminous, next month. They are a perfect example of a band not afraid to both clearly love & reference past genres, distorting & blurring the lines of what those genres are, while also pushing hard to create something sonically new.
Truth be known, when they first exploded I largely dismissed them as UK press hype. I wrongly thought it was simply hype based on their wicked image & the fact that legendary director Chris Cunningham offered to direct their now punk anthem, Sheena is a Parasite. So when XL signed them I was surprised & thought there must be more to them than being stylish, neo-goth punks. How true that has turned out to be. They’re able to fuse 60’s California Garage Psych with 80’s Synth Pop into something wonderfully original. The new record, the first produced solely by the band, is still too new to me to know if I love it as much as their Skying album, but it's so sonically dense that I’m devouring it simply for the production right now.
Below is the first song that dropped from Luminous, & below that is "Still Life," which has possibly now gone into my top ten songs of all time.
Live performance is also great, part Shoegaze, and by projecting real 16mm film loops on hung sheets for a screen it's part DIY hippy Warhol/Factory vibe. My only criticism of last night was that the sound was akin to a dustbin, with some of the band playing in another room. I’ve no idea if that's simply the norm for the House of Vans--which is an awesome skate room but not necessarily a great venue for a band that obviously cares so much about sound. But because it was some kind of secret/industry gig, Ned & I were able to place ourselves dead center in front of the stage. :)