Django Django: by Django Django (Because Music)
Their recent inclusion on the Mercury prize shortlist got us thinking that we hadn’t put a review of Django Django’s album on Louder Than War yet, something Roisin Kelleher’s now rectifying fro us.
When I see a song entitled \’Introduction’ as an album opener, it’s easy to assume that this will be a throwaway, pretentious track, much like a song entitled \’Interval’, involving some pointless sounds to fill out an album of otherwise possibly very good tunes. However, that is not the case with the opener to this hotly tipped album. The \’Introduction’ here is something like a cross between the sounds of the rainforest and experimental demon-dance music. It sets up this album like an opening song for a film soundtrack would set the film up to be an absolute epic, and leads swiftly on to \’Hail Bop’, the dramatic ferocity of which makes it easy to see why this band are garnering so much buzz and excitement around them.
The syncopated vocals of \’Default’ (see below) demonstrate an album which is not exactly going for the personal or intimate feel, but has a spiky, light-handed catchiness and verve.
\’Firewater’ continues with this tone, but with wispier, more whimsical overtones to the vocals. This track is a prime example of how simple repetitive melodies and a good beat can make a great song.
\’Waveforms’ has a hazy, almost psychedelic feel to it, and vocals which sound distant but lovely, as well as the trademark jig along to beats that characterise this album.
All this great musical mastery continues to run through \’Zumm Zumm’, and \’Hand Of Man’, although perhaps some more energy in these centre tracks would benefit the album, as it’s the tracks where the band really seem to be going for it that tend to work the best.
At the start of \’Love’s Dart’, there is a sense we might get this energy level back but it remains in a relative lull. It is still, however, a great album, and not altogether difficult to see what the fuss is about.
\’Wor’ returns the energy, and is a fabulously fiery song. \’Storm’ (see below), one of the stand-out tracks is catchy, upbeat, and what I can best describe as bouncy in a steady and measured way.
With \’Life’s A Beach’, you could indeed be convinced that life is a beach; such is the laidback nature of this album, with easy-going vocal strides and sunny jolts. This is possibly the most cheering song on the album, and a personal favourite.
\’Skies Over Cairo’ gives us a jingly-jangly-jungle-y sounding instrumental, and works fine as a penultimate album track; however, it is of course the closer which invites most attention, and this is a grand, melodically well-pitched, end to this great album.
What do you reckon? With \’Silver Rays’ have they struck Gold? Or, as the last beats hop out, have they self-prophesised themselves with second-place?
If you are looking for an album with a consistent style and distinctive sound, then this is for you!
All words by Roisin Kelleher. More Louder Than War articles by Roisin can be found here.