Sound Team - Movie Monster

Mike Caulfield 06/10/2006

Rating: 4/5

Everyone knows you should always be a little suspicious of major marketing and promotion campaigns, 90% of the time, the team behind it are more creative than the group themselves, looking back over some of the dross I have in my record collection as a result of being repeatedly forced to listen to some moronic little snippet every time I turn on the telly or radio, I wonder if I ever would have given it a second thought had I been allowed to discover them for myself and most of the time the answer is negative.

As a result, I've grown slightly numb to aggressive marketing over the years and have only to hear the term “next big thing” to shut down completely and run in the opposite direction, it's a system that rarely fails me (apart from the Strokes, sorry). So, when Sound Team's name started cropping up in every sentence I read and their advert appearing on the TV every time I walk over to the kettle (possible a slight exaggeration), I immediately put my guard up and it was only after much deliberation that I decided that I didn't want to live like that anymore and give them a fair chance.

“Movie Monster” is a varied, if slightly mixed, debut collection, fusing influences from electronic pioneers Kraftwek, with new-wave favourites Talking Heads, by way of emotive indie-rockers Arcade Fire and the sonic experimentations of Sonic Youth. First single 'Born to Please' is a haunting and mysterious track that revealers it's many textures over repeated listens, with an epic feel that recalls the previously mentioned Arcade Fire and despite containing the most subtlest of hooks stays with you throughout the day.

The LP is littered with other such moments of intriguing, restrained-to-expansive beauty, from album opener 'Get Out', which only lasts for 73-seconds, to closing statement 'Handful of Billions'.

But, like most groups that claim to have varied and eclectic influences, Sound Team attempt to re-create most of them, which doesn't always make for a smooth, cohesive LP and “Movie Monster” certainly suffers as a result, with an influx of forgettable numbers at the half way point, and the title track could be an off-cut from any previous Kraftwerk release, minus the sterile charm.

But, as a debut record should be, “Movie Monster” contains plenty of pleasant moments whilst still having room for growth and maturation and with so many styles on offer it should be interesting to hear which direction they'll take as a follow up.