Electrelane CD review [Too Pure]

Music Reviews
Electrelane CD review [Too Pure]
May 10, 2005, 06:33


Electrelane's Axes starts with the good stuff and continues therewith for the bulk of its duration. This outfit reconvenes most of the signature elements of prime Neu and does not meddle with 'em noticeably. It's not what you'd expect from a femme-quartet, so a nice fuck-y'all to gender-based stereotypery.

Most songs are strung along an insistent “thum” concocted out of a short repeated theme on piano, chugging bass and deceptively simple drumbeat. The drumming is the key being decisively propulsive yet straining for unobtrusiveness. The effect is a near-hallucinatory evocation driving long distances late at night in the rain—preferably headed for Düsseldorf (hoping someplace will be open and serving bratwurst when ya arrive!) Electrelane achieves this peculiar, marvelous bit of legerdemain again and again and again.

Outside of some campfire sing-along vocalese, the points of departure are not especially improvements, i.e. their penchant for determinedly speeding songs up or the passages of chaotic fodderstompf. Towards the end of Axes they venture into bubble-n-squeak freak-out mode, meaning an extended bit where the respective instruments randomly emit bleeps or blaps or quick paradiddling ala early post-Syd Pink Floyd. Or worse.

BUT as noted previously, that comes late in the game after a heaping helping of perfectly lovely vintage Kraut-rocking and none of that “sauer” at all! [Too Pure/Beggars Banquet]

-Howard Wuelfing

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