A Million Microphones is undoubtedly one of the biggest surprises of the year. Supersystem, minus the drummer, was formerly known as El Guapo. Despite releasing records on Dischord, El Guapo never managed to make an impression on me. So when they changed their name to Supersystem and signed to Touch And Go, I remained vaguely indifferent.
"Not the Concept", the track that opens A Million Microphones, intercepts the floundering genre of dance-punk and systematically removes the shroud of embarrassing ostentation. But this gesture merely serves as a gracious introduction. By track two, Supersystem only remotely resembles a dance-punk band. It soon becomes blatantly obvious that fitting any convenient description will never satisfy them. However, the album never seems to blindly wander into unfriendly territory. Supersystem has a knack for taking ambitious ideas and keeping them well under control.
The glue that holds every second of A Million Microphones together is the bands relentless obsession with rhythm. They have no qualms about using every single form of percussion they can get their hands on. The occasionally overwhelming percussive variety perfectly offsets the albums tightly constructed melodies. Each song moves with robotic precision, propelling itself forward using its own bass driven momentum. Vocals and keyboard melodies seem present only as harmonious afterthoughts. The resulting combination makes the entire dance-punk genre seem frighteningly guileless.
7.9 / 10
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