LCD Soundsystem American Dream (Sony) ★★★★ Just a few years shy of 50, LCD’s main man James Murphy is no spring chicken. Yet this first record in seven years presents a sound that’s fresh and vibrant and cements the group as pure stalwarts of the indie-electronic sound.
LCD have always been good at sitting in a groove and resisting the urge to jump from progression to progression. This is certainly a stylistic feature on American Dream, an element that gives the Brooklyn eight-piece their infectious dance edge. Murphy exudes an almost Bowie-like feel, a more than welcome influence that isn’t overly derivative.
American Dream is a far cry from the hordes of EDM producers blowing up at present, yet its danceability is infinitely more pure. – Hugh Collins ★★★ Toronto three-piece METZ return with 11 tracks of noise/stoner rock that have the buzzing grind and uncomfortable volume of a steelworks – in a good way.
If your musical tastes are amenable to that seeming contradiction, there’s a lot to like here. Recorded by Steve Albini, Strange Peace is raw and live-sounding but it isn’t really lo-fi – bands don’t sound this damn loud without some deft production. Alex Edkins’ insistent vocal chanting channels John Lydon but he also drifts into melodic hooks, notably on tracks such as Cellophane and Sink.
Edkins says that the album is thematically about ‘‘finding some semblance of peace within the chaos’’.
This is also a relatively accurate description of listening to it. – James Cardno ★★★★ The spoken word introduction to American electronic duo Odesza’s sophomore album – the story of a Russian cosmonaut in space spooked out by a ticking sound whose source he can’t find – is an ingenious way of entering into the chilled-out world of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight.
His decision is to fall in love with it and as the intro segues into the title track, a softly shuffling gem with an atmospheric vocal, delicate piano and clipped beat, it’s easy to imagine yourself making the same decision. While slightly more pop-spritely than their debut – that’s anmmmto the break-up song Just A Memory and a big yes to the grandeloquence of Corners Of The Earth, with its gentle harmonies, swelling chords and exploding synths. – Mike Alexander