Los Angeles punk crew hit a sweet spot between hedonism and poignancy on a multi-layered second album
Cardiff University Great Hall
Sweet revenge is theirs...
No, you can forget that 'progressive' tag: the modern Leftfield experience is fiercely, proudly retrogressive, putting its finger on the pulse of all those influences - dub reggae, Detroit techno, PIL's 'Metal Box' - and digging down into the roots to find some distant-buried purity.
Now, a good year on from its release, the once-impenetrable contents of 'Rhythm And Stealth' have become familiar, like an old friend - albeit, the sort of old friend that arrives, unexpectedly, on a Friday night with a bottle of Jack Daniels, drags you out on a crawl of sado-masochistic industrial techno clubs, and pushes your inebriated, unconscious body into a cab at 6am on Saturday morning with a tissue pressed against your head to soak up the blood that's pouring from your perforated eardrums. 'Chant Of A Poor Man' is an ever-quickening deep-bass assault, but it's 'Afrika Shox' that's the killer. Afrika Baambaataa's vocal may be replaced by some unnamed feller with a vocoder, but it's none the worse for it, a genius rumble of elemental dub thunder, simple as it is effective.
Even a brief power failure - and the fact we have to cut short proceedings before the 'Phat Planet' climax to race across town to catch PJ Harvey - can't take the edge from their victory. Sweet revenge is theirs. Next time, the critics will do well to bite their tongues.
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The Cavan teenagers attack album two with abandon, largely at the expense of quality