Fantasy Black Channel | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, August 11th, 2020  

Late of the Pier

Fantasy Black Channel

Astralwerks

Nov 01, 2008 Year End 2008 - Best of 2008 Bookmark and Share


These guys are getting a lot of Klaxons comparisons, appropriate enough given their youth and the club-readiness of their songs. They’re launching from that same nu-rave and dancepunk postmodern platform, for sure, but they’ve got an ear to the past and a complete unwillingness to filter their work.

The result is an OCD marathon of danceable dips into many a genre: the guitar post-rock of “Broken,” the Devo-esque mania of “VW,” the P-Funk’d “The Bears Are Coming,” and the arpeggiated synth-pop glory of “Focker,” spinning off the hook like an amped-up Human League. The band never stays in one place very long, loading each song with surprise tricks and turns. The effect is exhausting, if damned entertaining.

Halfway into the album, you begin to crave a little consistency. It’s clear these guys are capable musicians, with ideas pouring over the top, but one wishes they’d reel it in just a hint. When they focus a little, they get the sophistication of “Broken,” with what is surely the catchiest 7/8 chorus of the year (how many are there?), the enormous hooks decorating “Focker,” or the Bowie-esque pop of “The Enemy Are the Future.”

At their best, Late of the Pier are like some video-game-raised second coming of Roxy Music, all hooks, humor, attitude, and experimentation. But when they falter, it’s clear—they tag one too many parts into a song, never quite sure the painting’s done; or spit out throwaway dancepunk like “Heartbeat.” With a little refinement and discipline, these kids can (and will, I suspect) make some music that truly transcends genre, time, and place. (www.lateofthepier.com)


Author rating: 6/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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