Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Not Squares - Yeah Ok

'Oh Yeah' the latest album from Ireland's fastest growing record label Richter Collective sees Belfast trio Not Squares firmly establish themselves as one of, if not the best dance band in the country today. 'Oh Yeah' is a throbbing & intricate stimulation of the senses ambitious, fulfilling and essential as cocaine in the Ryan diet.

A chopper of white noise demands attention as Release The Bees unfurls a raft of old school Out Of Control style Chemical Brothers beats. Following a 'heavenly father' style voiceover the live drums take over and an "oh oh oh" vocal hook chips the lock of our primal senses. A butterfly keyboard riff and a Goosey bass line set up DE NA NA perfectly. Quirky vocals and high grade syncopated funky riffs are jam packed into this 3 minute wonder. While In Front is a strangely pleasing mix of Muse, 8bit squawk box and homoerotic Flawless vamping.

No doubt simple arty types will compare the staccato guitar riffs of Smith & Carlos to (the) Foals and other putrid modernisms. However, it undoubtedly pays homage to originators like Talking Heads. This bouncy track features an excellent catchy 8 bit keyboard line. Quirky anthem Asylum, one of the singles of the year intros with a Cochise style drumbeat. The guitar is rockabilly with QOTSA grit and the main vocal "I wanna live in an Asylum" burrows into your brain and screams "joy." If all this wasn't enough the best is yet to come. It's group therapy time folks, open up and say Aaaaghh!!! Asylum's highlight comes as a wall of voices let out a primal roar of melody, backed by a flock of guitars in unison.

Feel Good Hit of the Summer meets Another Brick in the Wall word play on Don't Do Nothing; its at its best when the bass is doubled. A Stonehenge sub bass intro leads us nicely into Yeah! Not squares have delved into gothic dance on this track, which in large part is a drum expo. Hurray for the distorted bass swagger of stand out track Ojos Para Volar part Gorillaz, part Rapture, 100% indie diso dance floor filler. It's almost enough to make you go out and by decks yourself. On Bi Kan Na sibling to earlier track De Na Na, Not Squares return to up tempo Belgian dance gods Goose influenced throaty key bass.

'Oh Yeah' concludes with the romping 53 led by a snappy snare, dirty funk bass and grinding guitar. 53 picks up pace adding keyboards and extra bass, melding Yeah Yeah Yeahs with The Go Team in the process. A reprise of the excellent bass melody break draws the album to a close.

'Oh yeah' will probably miss the seasonal best of lists due to its end of year release. However, it deserves to place high-up on these lists, such is the level of content within. We expect 2011 to be a breakthrough year for Not Squares.

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