These Scots who live in London have a Hot Chip sensability that places them in that immediately likeable category: trippy but danceable electronic-oriented, rhythm-conscious indie rock. The Rapture captured it a ways back with a heavier guitar contingent and a nasty drummer. Percussion’s key but so is the production and the beats you use, if you’re gonna use em’ right. Thing about this band is, the drummer’s the mastermind, Dave MacLean. He met his mates at Edinburg’s College of Art: vocalist and guitarist, Vinny Neff, Jimmy Dixon on bass, and Tommy Grace handling synths.
No doubt they grew up blasting The Stones, The Who, Zep and maybe some Sex Pistols, too. And there is a tiny little nascent Brit rock badass Oasis cover band buried deep within them. But then they introduce things like sirens and bells and handclaps and it hangs out with surf rock with singalongs and feel-good vibes. Always with that wallomping hiccup of a beat that makes you bob your head and move your shoulders. Take “Default,” the searing standout on their 2012 official self-titled debut (via Because Music). It clearly uses some unnatural vocal tweaks and it’s not unwelcome. At the chorus the vocal gets chopped and hype like Max Hedron. Plus a jangly, driving electric guitar bounce holds it all together.
They have something about them that approaches tribal and world. Don’t be scared. Those words can be frightening in an indie rock context. Animal Collective and Yeasayer are great bands but there are unlikeable things about stuff they’ve done since their most beautiful, pure human animal moments. However, bands’ve been nailing it better than them since, like Young Magic and Quilt. You get a little dream pop, too, sometimes; Beach House, Chairlift and Grizzly Bear would not make unfriendly lineup partners.
Oh, and “Django Unchained”? Not related or thematically connected in any way. Also, MaClean’s related to John of the Beta Band fame. Looks like being awesome runs in the family. GET SOME TICKETS.