Sunday, 5 February 2012

Recommended music: 'Clay Class' by Prinzhorn Dance School

Although they're on the DFA Records label, there's an unmistakeably British sound to this second album from the UK duo of Tobin Prinz and Suzi Horn. Spiky, post-punk guitars and post-modern rhythms meet boy-girl vocals on a record that looks forward and back in equal measure.

The vocals throughout have a half-sung, half-spoken feel, as if they can't decide which to choose, and don't care either way. Throughout the album the sparse arrangements strangely feel quite oppressive, as if the space left between the bass and drums is full of ghosts waiting to haunt you.

'I Want You' is probably the most effective track on the album, striking a great balance between male & female vocals, guitar, bass and drums - it feels like a song you've known for years, and the lyrics have a perfectly weighted, sinister tone. 'Your Fire Has Gone Out' is Franz Ferdinand vs Elastica vs Wire vs Art Brut, while 'Crisis Team' feels cold but comforting. Maybe 'Flaura and Fauna of Britain in Bloom' tries a bit too hard and falls a bit short of its target, but 'Turn Up The Light' soon repairs the damage. The one string guitar solo on here reminds me a bit of New Order and also (I'm not sure why) the track makes me think of The White Stripes. 'Sing Orderly' talks of "cds and pills" in "Copenhagen in France", as if the objects and places are interchangeable, while other lyrics on here sum up the album - "the children are the future" but "the kids are punks".

Overall an enjoyable listen from start to finish. If you want to catch the band live they're playing 93 Feet East on 1st March.

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