Abel Tesfaye's dark, twisted album is at odds with the glossy pop world he's been thrust into
London Notting Hill Arts Club
Catch them before they go under the underground.
It might not be as exciting as being captured on bank surveillance footage with Patty Hearst, but they certainly pull off an excellent style heist. Sure, they lack onstage confidence and grace - there's a splendid moment of unintentional experimental clang - as bass and guitar collide - but they've only been skipping stagecraft class to read up secretively on the apocrypha of cool.
The pallid, grimy Krautrock tinge might suggest free love on commune mattresses, yet the Farfisa swing and clear-eyed bass relocate 'Film Music' and 'Le Song' from freakout squalor to salon des artistes allure. A new song - "it might sound a bit rough," they announce apologetically, like everything so far has been Santana-level musicianship - is tape recorder garbling and airy-guitar, Mogwai's 'Christmas Steps' picked apart at the seams. Their intensity, though, is all their own; oddly exhilarating for all its threadbare ends, its macrobiotically skinny grooves.
In 20 years' time, they'll be living under assumed identities in small Shropshire villages, their records played on America's Most Wanted. Catch them before they go under the underground.
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