Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The 2kDozen 500: #132 - Breton, "Other People's Problems"

Gets straight down to business with "Pacemaker" and mournful loops of chamber violin and stuttering bass bounce. Well dystopical! Or am I just layering that idea over the picture of a block of flats on the cover? "Electrician" piles up more unhappy noises, burying the tired vocal: "Why are they trying to salvage/What we'll be leaving by the side of the road?"

"Edward the Confessor" is an intriguing title. And the track has a neat line in baroque suspense, hammering out the same burst of corrupt piano over and over. Layers and layers of brutish pop power. Catchy rage, fist-pumping majesty over a rough flute outro. Fire from all corners, clouds staring out the sun. Something about the "fate of the world". This is the kind of tune that chimes with my idea of the world - big arches of meaning (or un-meaning) with furious pistons driving away underneath.

"2 Years" has the same fractured atmosphere as Burial, but with none of the edges smoothed over by narcotic numbness. That fractured atmosphere is hard to breathe, man. Breton have apparently been on tour with Tom Vek, and it shows on "Governing Correctly". It could be a song from 200*, when Tom was part of the rage. "Interference" sounds along those lines, big bruising lines. In fact, once I've made this connection, the talky, grumpy vocals start to irritate me. They sound a little too well-to-do and my current bete noir, posh cunts in pop, begins to rear its independently-educated head.

Nice harp work on "Oxides", which skips pleasingly from one foot to the next with a kind of flute noise marking the trail like that bit in Donnie Darko. You know the bit. "Jostle" has a bit of an African, shangaan feel to start with - but this is gradually washed away by mounting tides of that same mid-Noughties guitar thump. One has jostled the other out of position.

"The Comission" ends on another good note. Burial-esque again, but with a tidal throb that gives it a warmer feel. A bit of pulse. This album has plenty of pulse, plenty of it.

Rating: Bruise out of Pulse

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