Perhaps work out what sort of album you really want to make next time, lads.
Lou Thomas 2008-01-31
Naming your band after the greatest foodstuff known to man is not clever. What band could ever live up to such a moniker?
Second album The Warning was dominated by its utterly compelling party anthem Over and Over, but at least this third effort has a handful of brilliant moments, mostly stuck at the start of this musical identity crisis.
Out At The Pictures is superb electro go-go silliness, while Shake A Fist blends terrific acidic bass, jagged snares and shamanic backing vocals that go, “I’ll be teleported/ You’re body contorted.” It’s so Mighty Boosh, listeners may expect a yell of, “This is an outrage,” mid-way through. It never comes.
Rounding off the trio is Ready For The Floor. Clubbers will already know this sleek, trancey track’s utterly infectious snyth, guitar and vocal melodies. Undoubtedly the album highlight, it’s almost as ace as Over And Over and will doubtless top a few DJ, critic and fan single of the year polls.
But then Bendable Posable, a bass-driven stomp that (ahem) apes Gorillaz to reasonable effect, signals a dip in quality and uncertainty that barely lets up until the LP’s conclusion.
Frontman Alexis Taylor’s sorrow-soul vocals work for We’re Looking For Love, Touch Too Much and the title track. But the tunes are reminiscent of bits at dull gigs when you hit the bar. Meanwhile, One Pure Thought is a slight improvement, albeit in a New Order-by-numbers fashion.
Thankfully, Hold On saves the dance-floor faithful and shouts ‘future single’ more than a man caught cheating by his wife. It also sounds like The Beta Band perving on The B-52s showering and is irresistible, just like its best line: “I’m only going to heaven if it tastes like caramel.”
Finally, Wrestlers and Don’t Dance mix UK garage aesthetics with unremarkable squelches before Whistle For Will and In The Privacy Of Our Love round things off tediously.
It’s a shame Hot Chip could only manage four great club smashes, four so-so album tracks and five dull chill-out tunes. Perhaps work out what sort of album you really want to make next time, lads.