September 21, 2008

Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel (2008)

A trusted, albeit electronica-obsessed resource suggested I check out England’s Late Of The Pier to stave off Wolf Parade cravings, and my curiosity was decidedly piqued. If I didn’t know better, I would’ve assumed this was one of Spencer Krug’s innumerable [and questionable?] spin-off’s… except decent. They share his eerily resonant vocals, laced with danceable indie beats in the vein of Klaxons. Weeks of listening later, I discovered…

This genre-happy band is everything and nothing, all at once. One minute metal, next prog rock, from synth-rock, then danceable indie, to some yet-to-be-classified amalgam of the aforementioned. My entire listening experience could be summed up with a… Huh? Wait… what? Oh god… Umm… What the fuck? Hmm… Holy shit! This band seriously goes from point A to point… Z.
If you don’t mind shameless pilfering of more established bands like Wolfsheim, My Chemical Romance, Panic At The Disco, Bloc Party, Muse and Orgy, to name a few, then you might dig this band. The vocals range from Krug, to David Bowie’s baritone, to Matt Berninger’s darkness (The National), and the music is guitar-driven one minute, gloomily synthtastic the next… you won’t know whether to run, scream, hide, or stay and dance to the musical schizophrenia.

Although some tracks are overly ambitious that they lose their focus (“Heartbeat” and “Whitesnake”), there are some wicked(ly) cool ones too. The awesomely 80's throwback, “The Enemy Are The Future,” is at best a B-side to a Bowie B-side album… but in a good way. Then the edgy “Mad Dogs and Englishmen,” with its Hot Hot Heat-inspired vocals and Bloc Party flavor, is perfect for a Devo comeback album. And “Bathroom Gurgle” is definitely on my playlist for an unplanned indie dance party.
WARNING: Don't listen to Fantasy Black Channel before bed. It may give you night tremors... or worse yet: the “jimmy legs!” ;-)


Mona said...

After the Dragonforce posts, I'm incredibly curious to hear what Nightrain and Awmercy have to say about this album... lol

NR, what's with England and metal?