The Insound Tour Support Vol. No. 1 packed a few wallops of fantastic music that drew my attention; one of these wallops is known as The Rapture. I felt a great need to go out and get "Echoes", the song, on a Rapture album so I could really experience what they are for myself. Well, that time is now, and The Rapture's new album, Echoes, isn't exactly what I built it up to be. That's not to say this album is bad; quite the contrary, it's good, it's just not what I expected. The song "Echoes" on the Tour Support has a much rawer guitar sound, while the one on Echoes sounds a bit doctored. The singing itself (on Echoes) is a bit more clearer, the pace of the song is slower, and the bass can be heard standing out above all the other instruments.
Although I was a bit disappointed by this song, other songs were surprisingly good. "Olio", the album's first track, begins with an interesting keyboard that sounds like its being drowned as the song progresses. As the keyboard meets its demise, a piano comes in to play a very simple, depressing melody. The rest of the song is keyboard oriented and obviously so. This seems to be a theme among The Rapture's songs. Their second song, "Heaven", is actually a great song. Great guitar riffs that compliment a slow but complicated drum beat.
The rest of the songs have their moments of catchy, rhythmic disco-rock (which is why I can understand why other people like them), but there's nothing to make me really want to listen to this album repeatedly . . . "Echoes", "Olio" and "Heaven" excluded. Maybe this semi-something pseudo-disco-rock thing isn't for me, but I still recommend it.
Something needs to be said about the infiltration of this dance rhetoric in the punk scene. I'm guessing some part of it came from Emma Goldman's ubiquitous, "If I can't dance to it, its not my revolution." This sentence, thought the scenesters, why not make it a call to arms (and legs) for all punk kids to "get down"? To have a twentieth century anarchist saying it' well, that's just perfect! Thus the pleads for "unity" in the seventies underground turned into pleads to "dance, dance, dance" and with this came the arrival of way too many "Gang Of Four influenced" bands, touting this dance motto, like there was no tomorrow.
So here we are today, as the mainstream moves towards underground music and underground music moves towards the Devo, there's no doubt the spotlight is going to be right on the Rapture (I'm not even going to go into the fact they're from NYC). But like the Liars, the Rapture take the whole dance-punk thing to another level. Its not that thin, synth-based, pre-Sub Pop Hot Hot Heat/Radio-4/Dance Disaster Movement style of disco-punk, its an extension of the Rapture's rock and roll roots moving into a world of new ideas. Are the Rapture fashionable? Yes. But are they substantive? Most definitely.
I mean, don't get me wrong here, I'm no square. I'd love to see more kids getting down at rock shows, unfortunately, the majority of the music made for the people do to so is one dimensional garbage. Well, this is where the Rapture take off.
Teaming up with the Tim Goldsworthy and James Murphy production group DFA has led the Rapture to combine a more of a 80's era, dance-oriented sound with their noisy post-punk. But instead of making it annoying and cheap, moving into the dance-clubs has only enhanced the Rapture's sound.
Echoes opens with a new version of "Olio" backed by house drum machines and synth and "House of Jealous Lovers" which has already seen a fair deal of mainstream airplay is another refurbished track, appears on Echoes this time with a more club-worthy house feel than its original version (On the Insound Tour Support).
You can't go far with out taking notice of Luke Jenner's vocals. Sounding something like an unstable Robert Smith, but an octave higher and with a whole lot more energy, Jenner keeps the electronic ambience from getting a little too carried away by providing an incredibly obtrusive and ethereal element. Yeah, maybe he can't sing but who needs to be able to sing these days anyway?
Unlike !!!'s latest work (which is more of a movement to the clean O.U.T.H.U.D IDM output rather than their previously instrument-based sound), the Rapture have successfully maintained their gritty-garage rock style while merging it with modern electronic elements. Combining the janky guitars and truly groovy bass with the a repetitious drum beat (real and electronic), keyboards, cowbells, handclaps and a saxophone, keeps the punk spirit alive as well as the motion into the avant-garde. Yet, its not as if every single song on this album has some kind of agenda demanding that the listener shake, shake, shake, shake and so on, the Rapture slows it down on the third track of the album with the soulful piano-ballad, "Open Up Your Heart". Other songs like "Love Is All" and "Infatuation" fall in the middle of the mellow heartfelt singing and up-tempo dance songs. In a sense Echoes is one of the most complete albums that has been released this year because of the diversity in song format, yet cohesiveness in the overall package. The most charming aspect of Echoes is that the Rapture are not shoving anything in your face, they're not telling you to get up and dance, you will be unable not to.
If a revolution is the overturning of previous ideals and standards and the initiation of new ones, the Rapture are bringing it. Echoes a movement in all sense of the word. And yes, you can dance to it.
7.8 / 10
Reviewed by 2 writers.
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