Love Parry III - The Race For The Poison Chalice EP

Bill Cummings 12/12/2010

Rating: 3.5/5

Arise Love Parry III! Third act in line from Luke Taylor former songwriter/guitarist/singer of extinct Cardiff outfits Hemme Fetale, and The Hot Puppies. Who now returns fronting a slinky pop outfit featuring two boys the aforementioned Luke Taylor and two girls Ellie Jayne Burton and Sigrid Muller. Their debut recording 'The Race For The Poison Chalice EP' gleefully raids their mum and dad's record collections from the 1970s and 1980s for inspiration, but crucially varnishes them with a gleaming modernism.

Opener 'Draw' bounces into life on the back of a chorus of demented laughter, all bright swinging horns, fruit machine bleeps and twinkling melodies. Ricocheting between the harmonic retorts of Love Pary's female members and front man Luke, his playful explorative narrative is traced with the memories of Phil Ochy of the Human League.

Lead single 'Toy Box' is the standout though, a body popping disco floor filler that's funky elastic beat replete with handclaps and chirruping keyboards is snaked through by Luke's half spoken half sung stream of consciousness delivery dripping in metaphors of possessiveness and sexual euphemism: fuelled no doubt by a all consuming relationship. Then 'Toy Box' splendidly pirouettes on the grand pre-chorus line 'This time! If I Like it or not! I'm gonna take this heartbeats and put them in your toy box!' It's reminiscent the cleverness of David Bowie Thin White Duke-era style delivery colliding with the funk-pop of prime era Prince: it's a splendidly messy multicoloured play-fight.

Closer 'The Fabulous Ones' is flecked in 70s fantasy glamour a magical place where 50s girl pop doo wop collides with lip curling Roxy Music-esque verses, fizzing to a heady super sweet chorus line, that rides the white swan over glistening chords, glacial synth lines and cooing backings. Reminding one the better moments from the Black Kids debut album of a few years ago, it's highly enjoyable but perhaps a little too dipped overly syrupy pastiche to match the predeceasing tracks. There are two remixes of the lead track here too, one's a radio edit while the Hans Zulu Black Kat Mix of Toy Box strips the track back to its instrumental and vocal components and adds twitching mixes and occasional chimes of Specials-like-guitar, thundering beats, and echo its a interesting x-ray of the skeleton of the tracks composition but doesn't beat the original.

'The Race For the Poison Chalice EP' is an exhibition of a intriguing and highly promising new act on the local scene that the riotous video(below) for lead track 'Toy Box' has been on MTV before most local Cardiff media has picked up on it, says much about Love Pary III's potential to cross over. So whilst the 1980s bandwagon, (that has reached the creaky nadir of mainstream) is about to pull out of town, Love Party III's show enough imagination and individuality to suggest that they can fright for their own space on the crowded dance floor because rather like say MGMT or LCD Soundsystem this EP depicts them as clever reassemblers of retro pop with a modernist twist: as the wagon pulls out they are clearly having their own party.