The problem with electroclash was that it was all style over content. And, as we leapt over the corpse of a spiky-haired artonista in moonboots doing ‘the robot’ to Fischerspooner, the likes of Jake Shears and Brandon Flowers soon made us realise what was missing. The conclusion: synths and good hair are all very well, but ultimately you’ve got to have some choons.
Lesson learnt, something strange happened – some skinny Scots discovered how to make girls dance. James Murphy followed suit and, faster than we could say, “Hello, Paul Epworth, fancy a disco biscuit with your tea?”, we lost our inhibitions and made merry on the dancefloor.
Which brings us to White Rose Movement: arty of hair and synthy of sound and the creators of the song that Kele Bloc Party wishes he’d written (‘Love Is A Number’). The question is, is their debut album a retro frightwig of a record or one in which you can see the reflection of a crystal ball in the back of the shiny CD surface?
Well, it’s a bit of both. Nothing matches the heady, Joy Division-rush of ‘Love Is A Number’, but singles ‘Alsatian’ and ‘Girls In The Back’ come close. Unfortunately, the likes of ‘Pig Heil Jam’ (no, really) and closer ‘Cruella’ don’t. And as you draw to the end of the album’s cold metallic glow, it feels like waking up on a Tuesday morning after a night of mime dancing at Trash – groovy, dirty but kind of… empty. A mixed bag, then, with better hair than it has ‘Kick’.