Dynamic duo deliver again
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.