Mu­sic re­views

Sunday News - - SOUND AND VISION -

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

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