New Soundbites: February album reviews – Part Two


Space disco delivered with a big bang.

LindstrÃşm and Christabelle: Real Life Is No CoolAlbum of the Week
Smalltown Supersound
Last time round Hans-Peter LindstrÃşm was enjoying grade A fallacio in his back-yard geyser-powered glasshouse. This time he’s skipped the foreplay scripting a 45-minute bang-workout aligned to funk-pop’s all-time greats.
So you’ve Donna Summer (Let’s Practise), Quincy & Jacko (Baby Can’t Stop),
Giorgio Moroder (Let It Happen) and Funkadelic (Lovesick) jamming to the greatest collection of slow-burning, spacedisco never assembled on Long Dong Silver‘s dancefloor.
What prevents the set descending into pastiche and keeps it utterly intoxicating throughout is his partner in filth Christabelle, largely improvising her every utterance, she gets so very close to the mic intensifying everything while adding a rarely heard provocativeness on such progressive dance records.
The insatiable thump and grind is bookended by the devilish Looking For What as LindstrÃşm lays down a glitterball gloop of clunk and stabbing piano as Christabelle asks ‘what should we do, shall we start?,’ before requesting you ‘take off your shoes and feel free.’
Forty minutes later on the gasping comedown she’s satiated: ‘You give, you give and I give back. Everytime I discover something new I just can’t get enough…‘ Down girl, boy needs break.

Massive Attack: Heligoland
What has happened to this beloved band. Save for Led Zep and Nick Drake, the Bristol wild bunch produced the best first three records by any Brit band you care to mention.
Now they’re like a routinely trip to the supermarket, same results everytime; packet of clinical beat-up beats, jar of spooked lady vibes, stir-in Topley-Bird sauce – oh and you better double-bag that Horace Andy, please.
Sure it’s comfort eating but Massive Attack shouldn’t ever taste stale and on the evidence of some of this their fast approaching their Best Before date.

Beach House: Teen Dream
Bella Union
The first time I heard Teen Dream was via download code and thought my laptop soundcard was dying and was all set to prepare a piece on why records shouldn’t be reviewed on the merits of shitty sound files, surely bands wouldn’t want it this way either?
But then I whacked the CD on a few weeks later and the same shrill parrot vocals and malfunctioning shimmers were in evidence but just three times louder. It’s like watching a terrible TV programme only for the ad breaks to fire up and START SHOUTING AT YOU.

Two Door Cinema Club: Tourist History
Wonder if TDCC recorded Tourist History specifically for train journeys? I’m inclined to think they did as it’s wonderfully chirpy, instant and comes from exactly the same bunker as Bloc Party and Foals but with neither band’s explicit obliqueness which means the bitter forum heads will dismiss them with but a flick of their well-thumbed How I Logged On The Net, And Won alt-muso bible while the rest of us can enjoy this one-stop fun popsickle for six months and then get back to something slightly more substantial come Autumn.
How does that sound? Good.

Shearwater: The Golden Archipelago
Wonder if Jonathan Meiburg has ever tried out for Songs Of Praise.
Doubt it, he’s from Baltimore. But I reckon that Snowman-singing manchild Aled Jones would be well impressed by his oval-gobbed, OTT enunciated stylistics. Aligned to Talk Talk low-end grumble-sonics his band would be first in line for a BBC Electric Proms sesh or say, an Abbey Road makeover prompting Southbank Show features and guest presenting on 6Music – where they from Stockport.
As it is they’re from Baltimore and are too low rent for us Brits to give a pint o’Mild so they’ll trundle on for another 14 albums, earning unanimous critical applause before fading into obscurity. And then die.




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