This Constant Chase For Thrills

The Aloof[B] must have watched [/B]the ascent of [a]Faithless[/a] with an uneasy smirk....

The Aloof must have watched the ascent of [a]Faithless[/a] with an uneasy smirk. It could’ve been them if only they’d ditched the overtly political sniping of their classic ‘Cover The Crime’ debut and laced their soundscapes with a few cheap hooks. But no, after that ’94 opus they score their only hit with ‘One Night Stand’, a dense swirl of strings and buried breaks. It was obvious that this was not a group ready to compromise their vision to please the Ibiza-addled masses.

Which is why ‘This Constant Chase For Thrills’ is such a disappointment. Dropped by East West, they’ve set up their own label, which could have given them the same freedom which spawned masterful early work like ‘Society’. Instead, the album tries to be subtly anthemic, with every track introduced by two minutes of teasing synth noise before ‘epic’ beats usher in a langorous melody.

Well, it’s not quite ‘God Is A DJ’, since The Aloof are far too miserable for that. But while Ricky Barrow‘s distinctive croon remains the same, the weak house dribbling of too much of this record makes it seem like a band unsure of their own voice. Only ‘So Good’ finds them closer to the hard-edged urban soulfulness of the past, and even then you know they could do so much better.