Hot Chip – In Our Heads

Hot Chip have gone from underground weirdo-pop darlings to legitimate indie-synthpop superstars in the span of a decade. For some bands this rise in popularity may coincide with a change in identity or loss of originality, but for Hot Chip each consecutive album has meant only one thing; improvement. In our opinion, every Hot Chip album released has been better than the last, and while in some cases, the improvement is marginal (The Warning to Made in the Dark), in others it’s huge (Made in the Dark to One Life Stand). In Our Heads is not a huge leap forward from One Life Stand, but given the immense success the excellent One Life Stand was, that’s saying a lot. In Our Heads is a nearly perfect record, it has no lulls in the action; every song is either infectious dance music or an expertly crafted synthpop melody. This is also the record in which Hot Chip have truly proven they’ve mastered the art of the infectious bassline (Night and Day, Flutes, Don’t Deny Your Heart). But that’s not all they can do, the songs range from epic (Flutes, Let Me Be Him, Ends Of The Earth) to heartfelt and intimate (Look At Where We Are, How Do You Do) and the simply excellent (Motion Sickness). At this point, there is no disputing that this is a band in their prime, and they do not seem to be slowing down any point soon.

Verdict – 9/10

-Amos and Elias

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Gemini – Fire Inside EP

Gemini, one of our favorite dubstep artists, released his new EP on April 2 and it  did not disappoint. Comprised of four tracks, The Fire Inside EP brings a large amount of bass and intense beats to the table. Gemini remains a great producer, his synths and drum sounds are impeccably clean, and he has a great ear for melody. He slows things down a bit for the last track, Nothingness, and the results are great, Nothingness is a fantastic brooding piano ballad that serves as a fitting coda for the EP. Thats not to say the EP is perfect, Gemini seriously stumbles with the third track To The World, perhaps Gemini’s attempt at Skrillex style bass. To The World is incongruous with the remainder of the album and has no business being next to tracks like Nothingness and No Way Out. It can’t damage the impact of the album on the whole however, Fire Inside remains a mostly spectacular tour de force of Bass, Synths, and Snares.

Verdict – 7/10

-Amos and Elias

Must Be The Feeling Remixes

There is something, probably the infectious vocals, about Nero’s “Must Be The Feeling” that inspires remixes. Whatever it is, there are about a million remixes of the song and these two are my favorite. Nero and Flux Pavillion team up and the track is a perfect blend of their styles. The Delta Heavy remix is different. It slows down the song, transforming it into a moombahton banger.

Modestep – “Show Me a Sign”

Modestep’s new single “Show Me a Sign,” is neither amazing nor awful, instead it falls somewhere in the middle and is fairly average. Modestep’s début track, “Feel Good”, is one of my favorite dubstep tracks of all time and since hearing it I have had high hopes for each ensuing song. “Sunlight” was originally a good song but they re-released it as an edited version and frankly, it sucked. They had an opportunity with “Show Me a Sign” to buck the trend and make a song as melodic and bombastic as “Feel Good”. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the song sounds alot like a Skrillex track in many ways. It has frantic high frequency bass wobbles that are, more often than not, painful to listen to. That being said, these wobbles do not dominate the track. It has a powerful feel to it and an epic synth line. The vocals are well done and it is nice to know that the they are recorded live instead of with samples yet still fit well with the rest of the song. The tempo change towards the end of the track doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t add to the track and, just like in the original “Sunlight,” it detracts from the overall experience, leaving a bad taste in the listeners mouth, sort of like when a good rock band whips out a terrible shredding solo to end the song just for the sake of skill demonstration.

3/5

-Elias

Nova

First Ego/Mirror and now this, can’t get enough of this collaboration.

– Elias

I agree, Burial and Four Tet compliment each other very well. Burial’s sampling skills lend well to Kieren Hebdan’s beatmaking ability and general production value. Still can’t figure out which one came up with the piano part though…

-Amos

Quality Track from Hot Chip

Hot Chip deliver the first recording from their new record In Our Heads out June 12th. The song is bass heavy in a way reminiscent of One Life Stand, but sounds most like the ending track from One Life Stand “Take It In”. The song has a darker, more urgent undertone than anything they’ve done in the past and, as usual, is infectiously catchy. Expect to be humming the chorus for days to come. Vocalist Alexis Taylor is in fine form, with his vocals interplaying with the bass to provide the tracks emotional backbone. Drum patterns are typically simple but powerful, as is the Hot Chip standard. Al Doyle provides a few nice moments with his sparse but effective guitar playing, Doyle has proven himself a master at finding ways to fit a guitar in between pulsing synth lines and dance-heavy beats. The real star of Flutes, though, is Joe Goddard. Hot Chip’s primary song writer and the most entertaining band member to watch live (Taylor is a close second), Goddard once again demonstrates his excellence at letting a song build until it’s about to explode and then giving the bass and drums a simple yet incredibly effective drop. All in all Flutes is a step in an incredible, interesting, and new direction for Hot Chip, and hopefully In Our Heads will continue the trend.

5/5

– Amos