(Big Dumb Music)
LP / CD /
Released 1 June 2018
Leeds sextet Team Picture deliver new seven-track mini-album Recital, demonstrating anti-romantic, off-centre songs with quixotic charm and sashay.
Among Recital’s titles, the words Strange, Weird, Hack, Break, and Irritant advocate precisely what to expect. Soaring electronic synth and lo-fi atmospheric beauty make this the record which MGMT failed to make after the commercial success of Oracular Spectacular.
Referring to themselves online as knob twiddlers, Team Picture conjure electricity in their fingertips on opener (I Have A) Little Secret. Discordant but delicious jangly guitars wrangle beneath spoken word vocals, and heralds an edgy, intoxicating newcomer is in town. “Slow down cowboy, you’ve got a good thing” repeats in the background. Almost a tip for the listener.
A prodigious, euphoric pulse opens Strange Year with its student-away-from-home story. “How are things in Coventry?”, the band sing in the confused, swirling disorder of the track. Electronic shifts aside, there is a heart in these songs which stumble into the strange arms of the softer, off-kilter pop of Weird Mvmts. The gentle, higher intonation and delicately-crafted guitars bring something new to a table already creaking under the weight of the several wonderful sounds which Team Picture produce.
The invigorating chillout of Theme From Flint, with its brooding atmospheric sounds and electrically charged currents hissing below dip into territory which artists like Thievery Corporation, Vessels and Bonobo once excelled at. At just under eight minutes long, it is an engaging cacophony of sound, lasers, electric instruments, whale-shagging feedback. Matt Peel’s production (Eagulls, The Crookes, Pulled Apart By Horses) radiates at this point of the record; a truly spectacular vision and delivery.
Something changes at this point. Thicker drums and heavier guitars rule the glam stomp of (I Want Your) Life Hack, accompanied with Automatic – ‘Monster style’ yelps and fuzzy vocals. The flourishing synthetic sound changes hands for a precipitous rock approach. This is not to the detriment of the record, but demonstrates another side to the band. Equally so, the effortlessly cool delivery of Break Yr Heart where the germs “taste so good”. A killer bass-line and deliberately off-tune, punky guitar delivery give credence that Team Picture is no repressed creature.
The romantic hybrid at war with distorted white noise on Recital is wrapped up with the short, sharp two-word lines on Love Irritant, like a radio being tuned into something alien. This is a broken, brilliant record and music lovers should ensure that they see Team Picture play a mini-tour across smaller venues in the UK over the coming month. This recital is one you’ll be bragging about for years if you do.
Watch (I Want Your) Life Hack here:
5 May | Liverpool Sound City, Liverpool |http://bit.ly/2F8tjJQ
6 May | Hit The North, Newcastle |http://bit.ly/2Fne2oZ
6 May | Sounds From The Other City, Salford |http://bit.ly/2Fk5pvr
17-19 May | The Great Escape Festival, Brighton |http://bit.ly/2touqUq
31 May | The Shacklewell Arms, London |http://bit.ly/2D46JjV
1 June | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds |http://bit.ly/2oPzsVi
2 June | Long Division, Wakefield |http://bit.ly/2EeGaNM
4 June | The Hug and Pint, Glasgow |http://bit.ly/2D3FKVK
5 June | The Polar Bear, Hull | Club Show
6 June | Jimmy’s, Manchester | Free Entry
Find out more about Team Picture at their website.