I’m a sucker for press releases, as I may have mentioned before. Not a band I’m familiar with, so I had a shufty at what, at least roughly, my next 30-odd minutes were threatening to sound like:
“One of the most dynamic exports to come out of Denmark in the past few years”
Well, there’s a heady statement and no mistake. Not easily distracted, I thought I’d see what the challengers consisted of. The fastest growing Danish exports, as of 2015:
- Vegetable products. I think this may mostly be centred around Dansk giant, Arla, owner of Lurpak and many other dairy titbits. Milk, as anyone knows, being a vegetable. I’m a big fan of their work and so any beat combo will really have their work cut out to challenge them
- Other manufactured products. Unhelpful, let’s move on
- Cork! I’m a keen follower of wine bottle stopper innovations and it cheers me greatly that the traditional bung is still in rude health. Plastic corks? Nah. They’ve never given me the reassurance nor satisfaction that a crumbling squidgy wood top-knot has. Away with ye, sorcery.
- Aircraft and spacecraft. I’m deliberately ignoring aircraft. This album has to be better than a spaceship. Good luck with that.
- Cereal and milk preparations. Again, I’m saying our yoghurt friends have a good deal of dynamic clout – tough competition, to be sure.
Track 1 – New Blood. Shimmery yet clattering, exactly the kind of confusion you’d expect if you ill-advisedly wanted to sound like both The Cure and Joy Division simultaneously. Singer has one of those voices that sounds like he’s trying to vomit his Adam’s apple and bounce it around like a ping-pong ball on a paddle. Cheese wins round one.
Track 2 – Suburban Depression. A bit of a cringe-worthy title, but it paints a picture. What you wouldn’t want is a chorus where someone actually sings it aloud. Still the same obvious influences, with the addition of an early-ish period Depeche Mode faux-drama cloak of silliness. Round 2 to other manufactured products.
Track 3 – Onto Us. This starts far better, a vibe not unlike the opening credits to Street Hawk or The Equalizer– blue lighting; dry ice; dustbins. Once the vocals kick in, it’s back to Cure country, a band who do need vengeance wreaked upon them but not relevant to this album. A famous victory for cork.
Track 4 – Under Bright Neon Stars. It’s all just starting to sound the same now (take that, NME!). He’s still mithering about something and the guitarist and bassist are venturing onto third chord territory but seem to have thought better of it. Slightly distracted, suddenly feel like watching The Equalizer. Spaceships are better than this album. I can say no more than that.
Track 5 – Skyline Decay. Of course, by this stage, I’ve lost all hope of a startling twist in aural fortune. I think I’ve been humming Transmission over every track without knowing it. In fairness, this now sounds like U2, an act of violence in most civilised countries.
This is not by any means a bad effort…by which I mean, I haven’t liked any element of it really and can’t with a straight face recommend it to anyone I’ve ever met or strangers. Milk wins. Cereals win. Fucking Aqua wins.