Dy­namic duo de­liver again

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MUSIC - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

THERE is no deny­ing the tal­ents of Ju­lian Hamil­ton and Kim Moyes.

Their triple plat­inum ’ 08 sopho­more al­bum launched them into a never­dreamed- of strato­sphere.

They be­came FM ra­dio fod­der with­out pan­der­ing to the ‘‘ nor­mal’’ sounds that sta­tions re­quire.

While Pacifica still has songs that will light up raves and make hearts race ( Sur­ren­der or Fast Sec­onds), al­bum num­ber three fea­tures less ma­te­rial that has its foot on the gas for en­tire songs at a time.

It’s given them more light and shade in their song­writ­ing. It’s also made the ex­plo­sive, cli­mac­tic mo­ments sound all the more butt- kick­ing and in­tense.

Hamil­ton’s deep voice on the pound­ing Youth in Trou­ble is drip­ping with some­thing smarmy and ironic.

The song’s rant­ing verses lash out at the way a TV cur­rent af­fairs pro­gram might re­port on young peo­ple with dis­dain.

Adults Only is an­other heavy mo­ment, a song that takes influence from the darker edges of Sydney’s his­tory.

Brood­ing, bleak and spooky, it’s not a nor­mal place to find in­spi­ra­tion for a dance tune, but their big hit My Peo­ple was about de­ten­tion cen­tres and asy­lum seek­ers, so for The Pre­sets maybe that’s just an­other day at the of­fice.

Ghosts of­fers up a com­pletely dif­fer­ent style with its cute synth washes, ’ 80s new- wave melodies and trippy glitches while Fall is the al­bum’s most overtly pop mo­ment and a po­ten­tial hit if they want to roll that dice.

There are echoes of New Or­der and Depeche Mode on Prom­ises or It’s Cool, the lat­ter even in­ject­ing a lit­tle sur­prise in the rhythm sec­tion with some not chic but very well ex­e­cuted break beats.

A lot of acts like to fin­ish strong with a great clos­ing num­ber.

That works a treat at con­certs but on an al­bum I’d be wor­ried that peo­ple’s short at­ten­tion spans might mean a crack­ing song gets missed.

Be sure to check out closer Fail Epic be­cause it’s eas­ily one of the al­bum’s strong­est mo­ments; a wide- an­gle, slow­burn­ing mas­ter­stroke with Hamil­ton’s mus­ing on not be­ing able to ‘‘ win ev­ery­thing . . . ev­ery time’’.

While their tal­ents al­ways shine, tim­ing

★ ★ ★ ★ ■ is ev­ery­thing. It’s easy to imag­ine Mel­bourne trio In­fu­sion trad­ing places with The Pre­sets if they were work­ing in the ’ 00s in­stead of the ’ 90s.

Apoca­lypso came along right on the cusp of dance mu­sic’s big com­mer­cial push into pop and R& B and, sure, their sound was more techno and elec­tro than most but it was still per­fect for in­vad­ing the charts.

How their fly- by- night fans re­act to Pacifica’s pro­gres­sion will be in­ter­est­ing.

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