SO SO MODERN: Crude Futures
By Jacob Connor
Last NZM issue’s cover stars’ first full-length album. First impressions: crisp, taut and bouncy. Their colour co-ordinated photoshoots made them look like Teletubbies, so it is a surprise the music proves tightly coiled, tough and resilient. Instrumental opener Life in the Undergrowth comes on like International Noise Conspiracy swathed in arcade game bleeps. The Worst is Yet to Come introduces the default vocal style; high pitched, harmonised yelling. If anything’s going to polarise an audience it’s this strangulated yelping. Modernity now means fusing an ’80s synth pop sheen to off-kilter inverted rythyhms. Combine the Mint Chicks’ ADD with Die! Die! Die!’s urgency and you get at least a sketchy picture. Berlin steps down a gear into Eurotrance territory. I’m detecting shared sonic geography with Japanese Zen muso Cornelius as well as the likes of Can and Kraftwerk; clean propulsion of repeating delayed guitar figures. Dusk & Children pauses for reflection momentarily. Recorded with Mike Gibson at Trident in Wellington, the album may have benefitted from a few more lulls. Still, take a bow Dan Nagels (drums), Mark Leong and Grayson Gilmour (both vox, guitar and synth), you’ve produced a punchy showcase. Nice noise, boys.