Two kings of the indie dancefloor unite for a warm, timeless take on 20th century pop and rock
We listen for a while, then everything - this music, our brains - begins to atrophy....
If we refuse to give him the benefit of the doubt, then O'Hagan's carefully constructed sonic blancmanges congeal pretty quickly. Like Stereolab, The High Llamas are obsessive nerds, endlessly tweaking minute elements of their sound in such a neurotic, self-regarding manner that only other nerds could tell the difference. We listen for a while, then everything - this music, our brains - begins to atrophy.
The High Llamas made one great record, 'Gideon Gaye', which proved O'Hagan could write masterful, sugary psychedelic AOR. He proves it again here, with 'The Passing Bell' which is brilliant Capri-Sun pop - and O'Hagan knows it, because he lets it meander on beautifully for ten minutes. After that, we're at the mercy of his wayward desire to say nothing of any consequence in the style of 'Holland'-era Brian Wilson with sunstroke.
And he does just that. Again.
This unruly second album delivers a sucker punch to anyone who had the Kent duo down as a novelty act
Justin Vernon’s third Bon Iver album is a weird and wonderful thing
With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment
Islamic mythology meets the horror of war in this claustrophobic, low-budget spine-tingler