Wednesday 22 August 2012

Yeasayer - Fragrant World

Yeasayer's latest album is more of the same.  The band are well known for their psychedelic, twisted disco - all wonky beats, jerky rhythms and fragmented melodies.  Imagine Hot Chip and Metronomy forced through a meat grinder and you start to get the picture.  80s funk plays a large part in their sound - buoyant basslines and keyboard effects at times sounding as if ripped from an old video game - above which is frontman Chris Keating's processed vocals.

Yet, for all the idiosyncrasies of their sound, as a whole the album blurs into one.  With all the agitated experimentation, there's almost too much to take in from song to song.  Though undoubtedly inventive, their music sometimes lacks clear pop hooks for the listener to latch on to, with too many fizzing melodies blending in a dizzying concoction.

The latter half of the album definitely picks things up.  The minimalist grating synths of Devil and the Deed stab like sharp steel; Demon Road's oddball effects combine in an infectious chorus of "all hell is gonna break loose"; Damaged Goods provides the album's anthem; and Folk Hero Shtick's womping sounds contemporary.  This is the band at their best - focusing their creativity rather than letting their imaginations run wild.

Henrietta is the real standout track though.  In part, this is due to its position as their most recent single, but with its woozy, mournful second half and languid vocals, it proves that when Yeasayer get things right the effect is spine-tingling.


Gizzle's Choice:
* Henrietta
* Demon Road
* Damaged Goods

Listen: 'Fragrant World' is available now.

Watch: Yeasayer are currently touring the US.

You may also like...
* Hot Chip
* Metronomy