This UK trio's third album was recorded in the Scottish Highlands and produced by Edwyn Collins over 10 days at his Clashnarrow studio. It follows on from their well received 2013 debut Consumer Complaints, and 2015’s Why Choose.
With their lively rhythms and infectious energy, it's easy to hear what attracts Collins to music which they define as "minimal dance-punk".
It sounds like a fun time was had by all, but there's a serious edge behind the apparently trouble-free pop tones. The Official Body is a reference to what bassist Billy Easter calls “the mystical powers that be” which effectively dictate and seek to control our consumer choices.
Rachel Aggs (vocals, guitar) comments on the critique of modern society inherent in the lyrics: “We've always felt like what we do is political in that it's cathartic and healing in some way, but at some point it just felt like making 'political' music was a bit like putting a tiny band aid on an enormous wound”.
If they are feeling more despondent and pessimistic they don't let it ruin the party mood. Adding synth and drum pads to the guitar-drums-bass template they come over like a more danceable version of Gang Of Four as they satirize the 'entertainment' based culture that governs our daily existence.
For instance, Aggs says that Suddenly Gone is about "feeling used and undervalued as a queer and/or person of colour making music or art" while the lyrics of Wild Child are about seeing beyond the superficial facades of one’s idols whilst acknowledging such celebrities are "fake but at the same time, intriguing and seductive".
In The Hype, the line "Don't believe, ask questions" is sound advice in the age of built-in obsolescence where the line between what's fake and real is increasingly hard to define.
It's part of an album which proves that anger and defiance can be conveyed with a flamboyant spirit.
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