Friday, May 2, 2008

Quick Hitters:: Cut Copy & James Pants

All right, it's Friday, the sun is shining (where you are hopefully, it's rainy and, to borrow and Ack-ism, cold as a whooore's heart in Halifax), and you've come to the hill for one reason: TO DANCE. Well I'm sure someone has. Maybe. Now, because we're old and curmudgeonly, we are likely the last two dudes who know what jams will get the indie kids up and shakin' their snug-fitting pants, but that doesn't mean we can't try. So try I will with two albums we've recently received from Cut Copy and James Pants.

The accompanying bio for Cut Copy's new album In Ghost Colours is one of those ones that makes me feel like unfrozen caveman hip hop, part-time indie rock reviewer guy. I'm just a simple caveman reviewer guy, I don't understand what you mean when you say "epic sax-house" or "from the vocodered robo-pop of French house to prog's soaring harmonies to the texture of shoegaze". What I do understand is that the three young Australian chaps in Cut Copy have made an album that has managed to find a natural melding of electronic sounds and organic instruments that quiet simply works. The 15 songs are so consistently upbeat and propulsive that even the most cynical of the many cynical bastards perusing the music blogs would have a hard time denying it.

Right out of the gate the big beat/guitar strum combo of Feel The Love lets you know that you've got something mighty, mighty catchy on your hands. The funky bassline, guitar licks and synth bursts of the first single Lights and Music come together like Hammer and go straight to your feet. So Haunted could pass as a fuzzy rock song that someone slipped handclaps, synths, and a pumping drum track into at the halfway point when no one was looking. The shimmery, sample-spliced chorus on Hearts On Fire makes it a guaranteed dancefloor winner I would say. The disco-fied 80's feel of Nobody Lost, Nobody Found is enjoyable enough, but the conga-ed out breakdown at the end of the song is pretty solid.

The awesomely named James Pants is also using the 80's as a touchstone to get folks moving, but he leans a bit more on the electronic blips and blurps of that decade's soul, electro and even R&B; sounds to get the job done. Coming out of the Northwest (Spokane, Wash.) on the legendary, Peanut Butter Wolf-helmed, Stone's Throw records, Mr. Pants does it all on his debut album, Welcome, playing drums, keys, guitar, singing, yelping, and crooning. Did I mention there's a Cameo reference in James' the bio sent out with his album? Man, if there had also been a pic of him in a red codpiece, this have been a shoe-in for my best of '08. As it is, Welcome ends up being quite the eclectic mix, and it might be dance music of the headphone variety compared to Cut Copy, but it's an engaging listen.

Each song finds James reaching out and experimenting with various sounds, the big bass kick and electro fuzz of Dragonslayer contrasts nicely with the 80's drum machine knock of Crystal Lite. We're Through finds James laying down the relationship law over a handclaps and a sassy synth bassline. The horns & thick bassline on Good Things are just plain funky, and it has the James Brown sample to prove it. The bouncy I Choose You breaks out the computer vocals to get toes tapping, while James breaks out his Prince/Bootsy Collins impression and some solid tambourine work to get down on the catchy Ka$h.

Well there you have it, to different acts to pep some pep into your Friday afternoon step. Check the songs below and get down for yours in whatever way you deem appropriate.

Posted at 11:32 AM by naedoo :: 2 comments

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At 12:21 PM, Blogger Brad did sayeth:

i've been listening to both of these artists the last couple weeks.

both of 'em just know how to make you move.

love 'em.


At 7:35 PM, Blogger Kristoffer did sayeth:

the chorus in hearts on fire, where's the sample from? it's driving me nuts!


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