Re­turn is note­wor­thy

Shepparton News - - WEEKEND ENTERTAINMENT - By Thomas Moir

Not long af­ter 2010’s in­tensely groovy This Is Hap­pen­ing, it seemed LCD Soundsys­tem was say­ing good­bye for good. It didn’t go qui­etly ei­ther, with farewell con­certs, tours, in­ter­views and so on.

It was thus with a heavy heart, and seem­ingly a con­sid­er­able amount of hu­mil­ity, that ring­leader James Mur­phy an­nounced he would be re­turn­ing for another record.

Any­one frustrated at this backpedal is miss­ing the point. When bands as good as LCD Soundsys­tem re­lease al­bums this classy, who’s to com­plain?

Amer­i­can Dream opener Oh Baby is a swag­ger­ing, cig­a­rette-stained, post-punk love let­ter in the style of the best work of Alan Vega from Sui­cide.

“Please baby please, my love waits pa­tiently …” he croons be­low hy­per­colour, ocean-AEoor synths and tin rat­tle per­cus­sion.

On How Do You Sleep, Mur­phy bel­lows prim­i­tively across a large chasm while as­ter­oid-sized bass rain down around him.

Mur­phy’s lyrics are as al­ways on-point here and as ex­co­ri­at­ingly and painfully hon­est as ever.

All Your Friends’ “Where are your friends tonight?” may have been over­taken by “You hate the idea that you’re wast­ing your youth, That you stood in the back­ground oh un­til you got older,” on the ram­pag­ing, con­ta­gious disco of Tonite, as the harsh­est truth bomb he’s ever com­mit­ted to disc.

Bangers are per­haps more thinly dis­trib­uted here. There’s still danceAEoor killers. This shouldn’t bother many LCD fans. The beats have never been the most vi­tal part of the story. And the hooks and ar­range­ments here more than make up for it.

The band is as tight as ever. The rolling, ec­static, Talk­ing Heads-in­debted jams bring as much party as ever.

They prob­a­bly never should have left. It’s like they never did.

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