Two albums of the year are reviewed this week — this one will be one of ours, John McClaughlin will, we suspect, be other people’s.
We were expecting little of this, so were very impressed. Mounties are made up of Hawksley Workman and Steve Bays, whose previous band Hot Hot Heat got a bit famous on the back of one good song, and Ryan Dahle (ex Age of Electric and Limblifter — no, us neither).
Musically, it’s like someone gave Metronomy a jolt of electricity: it’s part electronic and part rock but bursting with life — the razor-sharp energy of a whip cracking rather than a bouncy room full of toddlers.
Opener Respectable sets the tone with synth riffs blown away by Hawksley Workman’s bonkers drumming (which also appears on Minimum Effort). Headphones is an appealing indie anthem written specifically about the Review Corner (fact): “I’ve got my headphones on from the minute I’m up/To the minute I go to bed/I’ve got my headphones every day of my life/Gonna wear ‘em till I’m dead”.
Early standout is the wonderful The Twig And The Tree, which opens with Metronomy-style twisted synth and is a tune that would have had us gurning with delight had Rob da Bank played it on his much-missed weekend radio broadcast.
Also good is the muscular dance / rock tune If This Dance Catches On, six minutes of metronomic music, heavily DFA-inspired.
The album title’s misleading, as there’s little thrash but it’s hard to say what it is: Metronomy meets LCD Soundsystem; it’s playful yet there’s a lot of work gone into it; there’s cool crisp electropop but bonkers drumming; it’s got an air of the cult underground while being addictively catchy. “Shoot ‘em up, boy, shoot ‘em up, boy” go the lyrics at what one point, and they do.
The Twig And The Tree – best track in the world today. We can say that now Zane has gone.