Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Your gauzy summer soundtrack has arrived: Pinkunoizu's 'Free Time!'

This Danish band turned up at White Heat last year and I was pretty keen on them immediately, but the album is a glorious thing indeed. Where their live show is all about driving rhythms and Velvets-indebted wig-outs, this debut full-length is... ah, so hard to describe. It just RIPPLES. A beautifully put-together record that should have real staying power in your record collection.

'Free Time!' 
Full Time Hobby

The debut from Copenhagen-via-Berlin band Pinkunoizu didn't so much arrive on my desk as waft down on a tattered Persian carpet to pour me a thimbleful of intoxicating syrup. Taking the post-rock of their previous incarnation, Le Fiasko, the four Danes douse elliptical grooves with '60s pop tones and hypnotic melodies to create a lo-fi grooviness that fans of Stereolab or Animal Collective would welcome.

Opener 'Time Is Like A Melody' is like seeing a sunrise from underwater, rhythms expanding and contracting like lapping waves, while 'Parabolic Delusions' teams some forgotten tune of the Cultural Revolution with acid squelch and clapping games. Those grooves aren't merely groovy but alluring, sucking you into a fantastical hinterland of vintage psychedelia where Eastern scales and one-chord drone jams mesh with bathroom echo guitars and sweetened melodies.

There's no showing off here though – all is decidedly low-key. Much like 936, Peaking Lights' sleeper hit last year, 'Free Time!' deserves to be the gauzy backdrop to another Indian summer.

LIVE: Brisbane's DZ Deathrays are sharper than your average

DZ Deathrays 
Old Blue Last
6th March 2012 


A pint is being spilled. At least five people are jumping up and down, and not half-heartedly either. For a Shoreditch pub on a Tuesday, this has got to count as an unqualified success for DZ Deathrays, Brisbane's finest – and possibly only – two-piece thrash-rock pop-brutalisers.

To a backdrop of blinding Dan Flavin-style strip lights, which sear hot colours into our retinas long after the amps have gone cold, singer and guitarist Shane Parsons and drummer Simon Ridley lay down a deceptively intricate set of pop songs-gone-bad on this first night of three at the Old Blue Last.

The DFA 1979 comparison is an obvious one, but it's the classic rock and metal canon that's the real wellspring for DZ – the primal heaviness of Sabbath, the squealing chewiness of Jack White's guitar, the furious thrash of Anthrax and, maybe most of all, the stoopid genius of anyone who's ever crushed a beer can into his head just for laughs. They might style themselves as two slapdash slackers getting lucky with a bunch of garage jams, but listen up – those razor-edge riffs, sharp song structures and knockout dynamics are no accident. Hold on to your pint.

First published in Loud And Quiet

Clacking their coconuts: Django Django live at XOYO

Django Django
27th February 2012

After hovering on the fringes of the big time for a few years, Django Django finally made a splash in January with their magical eponymous debut, securing hours of radio play with the enigmatic effervescence of single 'Default', which they despatch with confidence early on tonight.

The XOYO punters tessellate and squirm in the oversold venue, eager to get an earful of this 'hot new band', as if DD hadn't been playing London's toilets and trend-holes on a near-weekly basis since 2009. To be fair, this is version 2.0 – tighter, stronger, and most definitely weirder, or at least truer to their own odd-kid-out nature. They did meet at a Scottish art college, after all.

Singer and guitarist Vinny Neff is the pretty face centre stage, contributing shards of Link Wray twang and surf guitar and clacking his coconuts vigorously (the percussion instrument, that is – the third pair of the tour after having them stolen each night). Bassist Jimmy Dixon does his best turkey neck while keeping close harmony, Dave Maclean (whose big brother is in The Beta Band, fittingly) takes on the not-so-simple task of keeping time, and the gorgeously named Tommy Grace does everything else required on synths.

Sweating through their uniform Django t-shirts, they finish with the ecstatic nonsense of 'WOR', soaking up the adoration with genuine surprise at their new-found status as critical darlings and commercial contenders. They won't be seeing a venue this small again.

First published in Loud And Quiet