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The Rapture Makes Hipster Doofus Disco – And it Works!

Posted by January 15th, 2004 No Comments »

The Rapture
Echoes
By Graham Isaac

In hipster circles, it seems that The Rapture have gone through a unique cycle of hype, backlash, and now back to hype. If it pays off and the wider audience that these guys are getting through major label promotion machines, you can expect another, more widespread backlash. Meanwhile the “I heard them first” crowd has already moved on to the next flavor du jour.

So, depending on where in this cycle you fall, you may not be needing to read this review at all, because you’ve got your opinion. If you’re one of the few who’s not positioning themselves as hip for liking The Rapture, or counter-hip for hating The Rapture, and just want to know if Echoes is a good record, read on.

The Rapture
Echoes
By Graham Isaac

In hipster circles, it seems that The Rapture have gone through a unique cycle of hype, backlash, and now back to hype. If it pays off and the wider audience that these guys are getting through major label promotion machines, you can expect another, more widespread backlash. Meanwhile the “I heard them first” crowd has already moved on to the next flavor du jour.

So, depending on where in this cycle you fall, you may not be needing to read this review at all, because you’ve got your opinion. If you’re one of the few who’s not positioning themselves as hip for liking The Rapture, or counter-hip for hating The Rapture, and just want to know if Echoes is a good record, read on.

There are two sorts of songs on Echoes: punk damaged disco and disco damaged art-punk. The basic template is a throbbing beat which buoys a nervously infectious bass groove, overlayed with synth noodles and a single, angular guitar line. Although the term art-punk does apply, it does so in that Talking Heads, skinny tie dance party way, not so much the Jesus Lizard or Sonic Youth, lots of loud annoying noises way. What makes this album so effective is the subtle mood shifts from song to song; shifting from the dance party of the first single “House of Jealous Lovers” to the paranoid stutter of “Killing,” which contains the most badass catch phrase of 2003 – “One, two, three, four, kick that fucker out the door!” They balance their dance floor savvy with enough post-punk angles to keep the whole affair interesting even if you’re, say, sitting alone in a Bellingham apartment with no friends.

I always thought that disco sucked. The Rapture may not have totally changed my mind, but they’ve shown me that it can be put to very good use. With their driving grooves and hard angles, these guys are good enough to deserve a chance at a second backlash. – (9/10)


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