There’s been a hole in our hearts lately where dance-rock bands of yore used to reside. De Lux fill that hole admirably with immediate, expansive dance rockers that aren’t short on detail or hooks. “Better at Making Time” opens the album subtly, letting its disco bass groove enter four minutes in after giving Sean Guerin’s David Byrne-ish vocals a chance to sink in. “Movements” is a true groover, made up of a bunch of interlocking parts—a simple-yet-effective bassline and guitar lick in lockstep, washy synths and chiming bells—while Guerin’s vocals get wilder and wilder. The duo of multi-instrumentalists Guerin and Isaac Franco let each song breathe and unfold at its own speed, giving it a couple minutes in “I’ve Got to Make a Solid Statement (No More Likes & Ums)” before singing a word so we that Stevie Wonder-style clavinet and spacey effects can soak in. Of course, when they get to it, as on the superb “Love Is a Phase,” the result is a space-disco opus that leaves you head over heels for the band. Though Voyage is stuffed with cool references, they never feel forced or overdone. It feels as though the young band has digested decades of smart party jams and picked the choices parts to make their own thing—though you could compare them to LCD Soundsystem or The Rapture, for instance, on songs like “Make Space,” most of the time De Lux never sound imitative of those bands, as tunes like the interstellar “On the Day” stand completely on their own. It makes Voyage all the more pleasurable, and not at all in a guilty way. Smart disco-punk that makes us dance while satisfying our inner music-snobs? We’ll take it and more, please.
OFF! Collaborate With Shepard Fairey on Record Store Day Cover
Hardcore supergroup/purveyors of awesome minute-long songs OFF! have collaborated with artist Shepard Fairey (who did the Obama “Hope” poster, if you’ve been living under a rock inside a cave on a deserted island) for the cover of their Record Store Day 7” Learn to Obey. True to form, it’s fast, furious and over before you know it. It’s out on RSD, April 19. Read more about how this whole thing came together via Esquire—it should be no surprise that Fairey, who got his start as a street artist from the skateboarding scene, is a hardcore fan.
Antwon – “Rain Song” featuring Lil Ugly Mane, production by Shawn Kemp
Antwon’s goth-rap track “Rain Song” builds its dusky mood over a full minute before he or cohort Lil Ugly Mane deliver a single rhyme. Antwon, who used to be raps about devotion, temptation and increasing paranoia while Shawn Kemp’s cathedralesque production drips all over everything. Antown and co. recreate the feeling of being trapped, whether that’s physically during a rainstorm, or mentally (“He built up a wall to have somewhere to hide but anxiety’s coming from somewhere inside”). Heavy Hearted in Doldrums is due May 6.
Here are 12 great albums that are coming out soon. Better save your pennies!
Out March 18
Atlanta’s finest, scuzziest garage rock band is back with its seventh album. It’s co-produced by The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney. The video for “Boys in the Wood” has all kinds of homoerotic and drug-fueled forest mayhem.
Out March 18
Pink Mountaintops – “Ambulance City” video
L.A.-based Pink Mountaintops have a new album due April 29 called Get Back (Jagjaguwar). Main man Stephen McBean (also of psych-rockers Black Mountain) is joined by a who’s-who of L.A. musician, including J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr., also he lives here? Time 2 stalk.), Rob Barbato (Darker My Love, The Fall), Steve Kille (Dead Meadow), Annie Hardy (Giant Drag) and Gregg Foreman (Cat Power, Delta 72). They’d already released “North Hollywood Microwaves,” a funny ditty featuring Hardy rapping, and now they’ve got a lovably low-rent video for kraut-rocker “Ambulance City.”
Crystal Antlers – “We All Gotta Die” (Scientist remix)
Dub legend Scientist has tripped-out the song “We All Gotta Die,” taken from Crystal Antlers’ latest release, the melodically ripping Nothing is Real (available on CD or LP). Hear them play songs from that release at Amoeba Hollywood next Thursday, Jan. 30, at 6 p.m.
OFF! – “Void You Out”
Hardcore superground OFF! (including members of Circle Jerks, Burning Brides, Redd Kross and Rocket From the Crypt) have unveiled the first song from their upcoming Wasted Years album, due April 8 on Vice. “Void You Out” has all the qualities we’ve come to expect and appreciate from OFF!—serrated, hooky riffs, shouted vocals and a less-than-two-minute running time.