Friday, December 9, 2011
Pay The Darn Electric Bill
Post rock has come alone way from the days of Tortoise, Kranky Records, and strange Stereolab remixes. Nowadays, the genre is so broad and so all encompassing that it's almost as if it's become ambient again. As if to prove this point, Damn Electric Bill weave a mathy, melodic stew of mostly instrumental passages that go by the name of Jazz. While not jazzy in any sense, you could say that DEB are into all that jazz. In other words, this is a band that makes music like chemists create formulas; reckless experimentation that succeeds and/or fails based on the results.
Jazz is neat album that spends most of it's time with it's head in the clouds but occasionally finds time to come down (apparently via geyser) to distribute some fine sweeping indie synth pop that's almost like a series of Figurine-ish outtakes. In fact much of this album belongs in that Figurine/Postal Service/James Figurine camp...except none of DEB is related to James Figurine. Jazz for the most part is instrumental and despite it's math rock structure, the songs are loaded with melodies and harmonies that your brain can latch on to. That, of course, is the most important part of all this; instrumental or not DEB managing to make songs out of sounds with and without the aid of vocals.
Damn Electric Band has constructed a post-post rock album for the electronic generation. Danceable and listenable while maintaining its beauty, Jazz always experiments with its sound but never forgets that it's the songs that count the most. If you buy one predominantly instrumental album this year...this would be the one I suggest.