**PIC Blur-endorsed Icelandic duo move from techno to post-punk on an itchy claustrophobic debut
Chains Of Love - 'Strange Grey Days'
The hotly tipped Canadians update the classic sound of Motown
Until, that is, they stumbled across last year’s debut single ‘You Got It’ – an irresistible take on late-’60s R&B that crammed practically every cliché of the pop-soul-pastiche book into its two minutes and 41 seconds, yet still remained shockingly brilliant. And now? It’s time for the debut album.
First off, it’s a crying shame that ‘You Got It’ isn’t on it. Get over that, though, and there’s a bunch of teary emotions bagged up in the spikiest of descending scales. Opener ‘He’s Leaving (With Me)’ sets the pace, with kaleidoscopic keyboards eventually collapsing under the weight of singer Nathalia Pizarro’s ballsy growls, before giving way to a razor-sharp guitar breakdown.
It’s Pizarro, rather than Fung, who’s the star of the show, sounding not unlike a youthful Ronnie Spector (always sultry, always leading, only slightly sullen) – although even she can’t stop the band from venturing a few steps too far into the land of parody every so often. ‘Lies Lies Lies’, for instance, almost collapses under the weight of trying too hard to be our baby.
But it’s mighty difficult to feel anything other than mild annoyance towards the Chains on the rare occasion they do end up tripping up. That’s classic Motown for you, I guess...
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