Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Album Review: YACHT.

©2011 DFA Records

So sorry I haven't written in here in such a long time! Frankly, I've been pretty busy trying to inject myself into Melbourne society (i.e., trying to find a job) – but luckily I've been able to get a gig writing articles for the local weekly music magazine, Beat! How cool is that? There's a lot on my plate at the moment, but I'm quite hungry. Today I thought I'd share with my faithful readers a review I wrote for Beat on a fucking extraordinary record – Portland, Oregon-based duo YACHT and their fifth album, Shangri-La. Cheers, and I swear I'll pop in more often – I've been a bad, bad blogger as of late! But you guys are so damn awesome; I know you understand.


Where does utopia end, and dystopia begin? What darkness lurks in the shadows and ignored corners of a Brave New World? All heady questions to be sure, but Portland, Oregon duo YACHT are on the case with their fifth full-length album entitled, fittingly, Shangri-La. Yet another victory for New York dance label DFA, this glistening and darkly slick electro-punk outing screams out loud its concept of perceived perfection in society with a ferocity that at times borders on stunning.
Sporting a voice that wouldn't be out of place blaring from CBGB's in the late seventies, vocalist Claire Evans alternates between dreamy renderings of paradise and venomous diatribes railing against forced relationships, religious charlatans, and a society always stumbling in an endless quest for perfection. Multi-instrumentalist Jona Bechtolt and the mob that makes up YACHT's touring band ably provide a constantly mutating soundscape that challenges perceptions of what, exactly, electronic music can achieve. 

Second track "Dystopia (The Earth Is On Fire)" has Evans channeling The Bloodhound Gang when she intones,
"The Earth, the Earth, the Earth is on fire! / We don't have no daughter / Let the motherfucker burn."
Percussion-heavy "I Walk Alone" is reminiscent of seventies Detroit rock, and "Paradise Engineering" features lyrics that could have been penned by David Byrne delivered over beats and rhythms that bring to mind the best of LCD Soundsystem.
But the best of the bunch would have to be the sprawling and multi-layered "Tripped And Fell In Love". Dense, mean, and driven by some seriously sinister synths, it's a fantastically constructed and danceable game-changer in the world of disco-punk.
Highly, highly recommended.

Best Track: "Tripped And Fell In Love"
If You Like This, You'll Like: Sound of Silver by LCD SOUNDSYSTEM, It's Blitz! by YEAH YEAH YEAHS, The City Never Sleeps by THE CRYSTAL ARK
In A Word: Arcadian

So, yeah, that was my review. While you're here, why don't you watch the following film? Here's the music video for the first two tracks, "Utopia" and "Dystopia." Pretty cool shit, if you ask me.

Well, fuck. Embedding seems to be down. Oh well – here's the link to the video on the YouTubes. Enjoy.