Out Of The Races And Onto The Tracks
By: Eric Greenwood
The title track of this EP is a mind blowing, neo-post-punk, dance rock fest that I cannot stop listening to no matter how hard I try. The obligatory Gang Of Four reference must be made, but it's so much more than that. Throw in some Pixies, the guitar sound from Bauhaus' "A God In An Alcove", and three decades of garage rock and let the dancing begin. The Rapture's methods are unorthodox and technically inaccurate to say the least; it's music is loose, jittery, spastic and completely unhinged, wrought with mistakes and missteps, but it's the most infectious combination of ranting vocals, clanging guitars, and reckless drumming I've heard in years.
Without the title track this EP would sink like a stone. But just sharing space on the same disc makes the other songs seem more important than they are. "Modern Romance" strays from the title track's disjointed momentum, replacing it with wildly abrasive guitar thrashing that is so shrill it sounds like metal trashcan tops being clanged together. The driving, propulsive bass doesn't seem to have any direction in mind, and the vocals lack the utter insanity of its immediate predecessor. "Caravan" really sounds like the Pixies, vocally, though. Luke Jenner's manic vocalizations lend just the right air of madness to the tightly wound mayhem that unfurls. It's relentless, unmelodic, and rocking all the same.
"The Jam" is practically unlistenable noise. A searing wall of trill feedback underscores stubbornly digressing rhythms. Jenner tries to pull a chorus out of this antagonistic racket, but it's futile. "The Pop Song" is only half-sarcastic in its title. The Rapture knows how to be accessible when it wants to, but looking into the crowd and seeing heads bobbing in unison must irk it to no end because the music is constantly trying to throw you off its trail. Jenner's vocals are strained and piercing, but they sound absolutely nuts, which is a glorious thing to behold. "Confrontation" caps off the EP with another dose of sheer lunacy. Jenner's high-pitched wail caterwauls amongst forceful, repetitive grooves. There's not a hook in sight, but it's still a sound that promises great things.