Getintothis delivers an insight into 2010’s most anticipated record – LCD Soundsystem’s as yet untitled third studio record.
1. Dance Yourself Clean
Me and the boy Stevie Law were discussing over his homemade spag bol, how James Murphy reels you in like few others. I’d go with Jason Pierce, Prince and perhaps Brian Eno as an elite club of three he’s gatecrashing as single-handedly writing the most consistently amazing opening tracks on record.
Here’s a case in point. Not only does Dance Yourself Clean begin with three minutes of the most minimal, effortless instrumentation – a mere pitter-patter of stick work and the odd splodge of synth drone – but Murphy compels you to strain forward as the volume is intentionally reduced FORCING you to listen up or physically turn it up.
Funny thing is, if you do the latter, when 3.08 hits, you’re in for a wee shock as a wrecking ball with the word ‘Disco’ will shatter your bass bins.
Like Get Innocuous, Dance Yourself Clean is an unstoppable groove which finds Murphy falsetto-ing ‘It’s a show,’ over an ice-pick-edged beat.
Just to emphasise he’s lost none of that sardonic humour, the track finishes with him down-tooling and there’s a sequence of odd missed-beats as his voice trails off into a distant dancefloor.
Somewhere, strip away the LCD sound, there’s a Fever Ray track buried beneath, which goes someway to describing how cool this instant classic really is.
2. Drunk Girls
Know the way North American Scum was your least favourite Sound Of Silver track and stank of ‘gah, the label needs a single, but we don’t really write songs under six and a half minutes‘.. well this is Murphy’s new uptake on that front. So what you get is a neatly packaged rampagingly dumb thud-a-thud cockdisco stomp. First time you hear it you’ll reject it out of hand and after that you’ll skip it. Now and again you’ll play it just out of perverse curiosity because you feel it’s only fair to give it another chance. But you’ll only get half way through.
3. One Touch
When not sounding drunkenly melancholic, Murphy often likes to pull off the deadpan robotic vocal ala Sound Of Silver or Tribulations, here he does it magically over a cacophony of bleeps and synth shreds. Four minutes in and everything goes sexually squelchy, like Daft Punk have emptied their electro ballsacks all over the production suite.
4. All I Want
The record’s first ‘rock’ track begins with wailing guitars before Murphy, never one to shy away from his influences (see Losing My Edge for starters), unleashes a shamefully VU Waiting For The Man train chug of a guitar line.
It’s also the first track where he actually sings, but his vocal is masked by fizzing beats and synth gurgles which warp into high-pitched squeals which are almost unlistenable come the finale. It’s quite a painful listen. Maybe intentionally so.
All Bowie Space Oddity pops and perky electronics, the chirpy sonics contrast Murphy’s pained falsetto and tainted failed romanticism. ‘Love is a murderer.. love is a curse, shoved in a hearse.‘
There’s no irony here, move on.
Clocking in at nine minutes 12 seconds, Hit, is the record’s big daddy, but it doesn’t serve as the belly of the beast, more a slow-cooked glistening disco sizzler. Reminiscent of the sparkled keys and deft shimmering beats on Someone Great, it’s not until the three minute mark that sadsack Jimbob checks in amid a chugging guitar – ‘You wanted a hit, but maybe we don’t do hits… I try and try it ends up feeling kinda wrong.‘
There’s an underplayed disco thud throughout only disturbed by a deliberately OTT malfunctioning glam solo five and half minutes in which dissipates amid a four minute outro as we’re repeatedly told, ‘We can’t be your babies, til you take us home.’
7. Pow Pow
The record’s second truly inspirational moment. A moment which again weighs in at a hefty eight-plus minutes. Classic LCD traits are all at work: sploshing drum pads, Nancy Whang backing kid-yelps, incessant conga rhythms and Murphy’s drawling monologues of the Beat Connection kind.
What it all means is anyone’s guess but it sounds suspiciously like a delusional sociopath ranting about relationship advice – ‘With you on the outside, and me on the inside, there’s advantages to both, and me being uptight and you being alright there’s advantages to each… Return of the police!‘ There’s also mentions for Fact Magazine and the line which every reviewer will call upon, ‘we have a black president, and you do not – so shut up.’
It’ll sound mesmeric in the club.
Pow Pow edit
8. Somebody’s Calling Me
Another of those most obvious of influences: this is Iggy‘s Nightclubbing injected with paranoid keyboard lines and a heavy drizzle of skag-brass. It’s the sound of late-night LA swamped by coke dealers and winos draining their bottles as the one-shoe brigade reach for their empty cigarette packs.
Nasty, filthy business.
9. What You Need
Personally, Sound Of Silver ended on a bit of a bummer, not that New York.. was bad, it just left me feeling ho-hum, and didn’t quite feel like a fair reflection on one of the best records in living memory.
What Sound Of Silver lacked, this record gains. What You Need is pure click-drum, pad-pounding happy-happy-joy-joy, underscored by that knowing LCD empathy which tells you to rip it up, but don’t forget to hold on and remember who you are.
Break the rules, tackle your fears but stay human. If that sounds corny, well, maybe most of what James Murphy deals in is just that, but sometimes the simplest of messages, the simplest of pleasures are so hard to deliver and boy, does he do it well.
The new record will be released on DFA Records May 17/18.
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