'Forwards' is The Egg's third LP, and their first for chill-out dons Bar De Lune. A...
Jack Smith 2004-06-16
There seems to be an ever growing number of electronic music fans who like their music to fall 'between the cracks', to shun any kind of formula and embrace a certain level of musical syncretism.
The Egg are just one such variegated band who might well crop up at any one of the summer festivals. Indeed, they have already been a big hit at the Big Chill over the years, and previous sets at Glastonbury and Homelands have not gone unnoticed by the dance and critical media alike.
The band Ned and Maff Scott plus live members - has everything a modern audience seeks, it seems: myriad musical references, a slick production edge that blends textural balance with a slightly abrasive grain, and a live act that stands up to the sophisticated studio output.
Forwards is the band's third LP, and their first for chill-out dons Bar De Lune following a departure from Indochina where they released previous LP's like Albumen and the more bombastic sophomore effort, Travelator.
The new album is preceded by the single "Venice Beach", a swirling, romantic track that boasts a slight sassy swing, a laconic, liteweight groove and a more expansive Air-esque moodscape.
Don't be decieved though. The band's ability to switch it up between rock-tronica (see opening cut "Wall"), brimming, psychedelic warmth ("Walking Away") and upbeat funk grooves ("Funky Dube") is famous.
Not for nothing have they been long time associates of fellow quirksters Fila Brazilia, swapping remix favours and appearing on the latter's compilations in the past.
But where Brazilia have honed their sound into something complex, deep and very identifiable, The Egg still seem to have a 'loose canon' quality to their music which makes it hard to pinpoint any kind of recognisable signature and renders them a little more, well, maverick.
On "Walk On The Snow" and "Angel Of My Soul" they appear gorgeously supine, even glacially chilled, while on the title track or "She's Terrific", the band come alive with surprising alacrity, merging their ethereal motifs with punchy attitude and unabashed rock riffs.
It's this reluctance to stay in one place that makes The Egg a band for our times. Relaxed, rambunctious and quietly rebellious, Forwards is one of the most subtly infectious albums released this year and a successful attempt - intentional or not - at capturing something of our current summer-fest zeitgeist.