Bloggers' delights tarnish a bit stretched over a whole album
In a memo not lost on these smart fellas, [a]Bob Dylan[/a] once said that “people have one great blessing – obscurity”. Rumours as to the duo’s secret identity flew when their disco anthem [b]‘Brow Beaten’[/b] got bloggers’ bits tingling last year – was it [a]Digitalism[/a] in disguise? A smash-and-grab raid on credibility from [a]Erasure[/a]? A disenfranchised member of a ’90s garage crew? As it turned out, Oxide & Neutrino fans would have to simmer: the Columns were, er, Fridge collaborator [a]Adem[/a] Ilhan and [a]The Pictish Trail[/a], alias Johnny Lynch. Debut album [b]‘Yes And Dance’[/b] subscribes to the [a]Hot Chip[/a] dictum of brainy electro-pop with a heart of gold, but the comparison doesn’t always flatter. [b]‘Cavalier’[/b] sounds like Bernie Sumner channelling Axel F – only faintly posh – and the title track makes hay with a bog-standard keyboard riff and Kraftwerk-ish, treated vocals. Less pandering material like [b]‘Columns’[/b] and [b]‘Way Out’[/b]’s soft-pedalled rave finale prevent this from being as cosily predictable as a Guardian think-piece in praise of [i]The Wire[/i].