Single Review – The Killers – The Man

It has been five years since The Killers last album Battle born was released and their huge group’s fourth studio album was sadly nothing more than a piece of self indulgence and walled off nostalgia. Their fifth studio album is called Wonderful Wonderful and comes off the back of Brandon Flowers bold second solo album The Desired Effect from 2015. Their new single ‘The Man’ echoes a larger trend of Rock and Pop groups looking to Disco and this song swaggers with Funk riffs and bass lines albeit with strong electronic overtures. The shining and glimmering sound is met with distorted, low bass lines and Brandon’s smooth, yet slightly broken vocals marry with the sound well. This makes it a little more developed as a Disco/Funk track; something that they largely pull off albeit for a few unnecessary transitions. Lyrically, this song has more to say than any Killers song has for a while as they try to mash the concept of being an alpha male and the idea of being manly as a whole. This idea is channelled through the singles artwork with a child dressed in adults clothes; hinting at the immaturity of the concepts they trivialise on this track. A track that takes getting used to and though not perfect or nuanced, it offers a welcome change tack from The Killers. 

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Parcels – Older

The Berlin via Byron Bay quintet that makes up Parcels are to release their new EP Hideout on January 27th and have released a third single taken from the extended play. ‘Older’ still retains the Euro-Disco sounds of the previous singles, but the crackling production and loose riffs are set to a Indie jolt led by the percussion and brought home by the back and forth, airy pop vocals. It is an upbeat and infectious track, but sees them loose a bit of their novelty to pursue a TDCC type sound, though delivered better nonetheless. Hopefully they can go back to shamelessly pursuing Disco or perhaps drop us a surprise in the future.

Owen Riddle 

Single Review – Neon Indian – Slumlord

The Texas based electronic outfit return with the announcement of their third studio album VEGA INTL. Night School set for a October 16th release. The new track from the album is the funky ‘Slumlord’ with features a more groove orientated disco and space rock sound with a electronic tinge that guides the opening of the track as the rhythm is forged from the warping and distorted chords. From there it is taken over by a rolling bass line, poppy synths and the soft, easy listening vocals of Alan Palomo who looks to have moved Neon Indian to a more retro themed sound, away from the modern chillwave of their last album.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

EP Review – Batsch – Collar

Collar

Dark synth pop band Batsch release their second EP Collar on July 14th on Tin Angel Records. It is a pretty rapid follow up from their Tiles EP which was released earlier this year and it sees them go on to develop and hone their sound further. It’s out via digital download and limited cassette, which is great to hear with cassettes almost being forgotten amongst everyone desperately trying to get their hands on vinyl. The five track EP opens with ‘Celina’ which whirrs itself to an opening before a gentle yet purposeful riffs and bass lines. These are broken up by chiming synths and sharp lead riffs. The vocal is easy and subtle while still delivering the lyrics in a pop like fashion to match the music. The song ties all of these elements together for a track filled with electronically charged and guitar driven hooks and vocal melodies that are all easy on the ear. An indelible bass line along with a jolting, discotheque guitar set the foundations of ’22’ as wiry synths are set across it all. It breaks off into a analogue interlude before being led back again by the jolting guitars. ‘Did You Hear About Argine’ includes those wiry and chiming synth moments but is mainly sparse affair with the bass foundation and the synths and guitars rolling off it. ‘Mirrorball’ is wonderfully formed bit of electronic rhythms and structures with slightly echoed vocals of the chorus offset by the deep sounds of the verse vocal. ‘Can’t Tell’ is inescapably catchy and funk filled track with electronic fills that are made more appreciated by the fluid vocals that sit amongst the instrumentals. This EP is unrelenting in the hooks and pop melodies that encase the clever rhymes of the lyrics; all of which are delivered with all efficiency and control. A well fought out and delivered EP.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Suggestion – Giorgio Moroder – From Here To Eternity

Aside from possessing some of the greatest facial hair to ever feature on musicandotherthingz; Giorgio Moroder is one of the great musical innovators, taking electronic music beyond the infancy of The Beatles and beyond the robotic nature of Kraftwerk. He allowed electronic music to flow and fluctuate and there is no better example of him doing so then with the classic ‘I Feel Love’ from Donna Summer, which Giorgio collaborated with Donna on in Germany and his album ‘From Here to Eternity’ was recorded just after ‘I Feel Love’. The title track from the album has a similar vibe with the driving and rapidly rotating electronic beats. It opens with a vocoder vocal akin to Daft Punk’s trademark vocal sound before that driving beat takes over and Giorgio’s imperfect pop vocal takes over. The chorus is faded in out by a shimmering layer of synths before leading into a relentless wave of high placed synths. The track is minimal, slick, efficient, but also dynamic and alive. It’s no wonder that from this point all the headline artists from Freddie Mercury, Blondie and Bowie were queuing to collaborate with the Italian Disco Godfather. Last year Daft Punk had an entire song dedicated to the man which featured a mini – biography at the start. The French duo like so many others, owe much to Giorgio and his legacy is still very fresh in everyone’s minds.