Various - Wall of Sound: Shock Rock
Charlie Southwell 17/02/2007
This compilation is a celebration of the dance and indie worlds colliding head on. It also is a great collection of extraordinary different bands unified only in their disregard of the popular band template. Despite CSS and The Sunshine Underground making appearances, the compilation pleasantly sidesteps Klaxons, The Automatic and other “HUGE” over-rated names thrown about willy-nilly these days. This album is something to delve head first into. Although most of these bands are already established, it's necessary to have a listen; you'll end up finding yourself a few new favourite bands.
It all kicks off with Metronomy, a rugged fuzzbox, infused with a sine-waved sensibility for catchy and up-lifting melodies. Playing live on the accompanying tour, a band to watch out for, especially their co-ordinated dance moves, that would make boy bands jealous. Includes amazing visual aids; namely a large round white light in the middle of their chests, which can be hit to turn on and off. Much fun to be had.
A few big disco floor fillers appear on the album, The Gossip's “Standing In The Way Of Control” and Soulwax's “NY Excuse” feature, along with a couple of genius remixes, taking the originals and adding a computer. With an extra pair of hands there is not as much cowbell as I would lik, although presumably the remixers prefer dirtier synth riffs. But it's all good… *drools*
Bands that will probably get the most exposure from this little disc of joy are Shy Child and label mates A Human. Although all of these bands have little regard for who is well known or not, they strive to dominate the underground and force their way onto the disco floors. The Indie/Dance crossovers have gone on for years, arguably the most successful and now mainstream are Daft Punk. But this selection of bands could rival the bigger bands quite easily in terms of their output. Get yourself along to one of the tour dates, if you can't, lend a hand by buying the album its well worth it and great to dance to, I may never need leave the house for an electro club night again!
The A Human is the black horse of this album. Complete underdogs and being British, I always have to champion the underdogs. However this isn't to say their track is any lower quality than the other tracks. Despite being an original demo it shimmers, and lead singer Dave, carries the chorus with his glittered voice. The backing synths pick up the reflection of the of the simpler guitar bass and drum lines, whilst shining through some of the other slow tracks on the album as one of the highlights. Live.. Watch out for the Roger Daultry style movements and the funky robot dance.
Shy Child's B-side “Down On Yourself is a great release of energy. This two piece band make a huge electronic mash-up whilst performing live, and aren't so bad at the old remixes. I remember the fantastic Editors and Futureheads remixes that got me into this band. An under-rated vibe here, a socio-political commentary in an otherwise pleasantly refreshing summery form.
Personal favourites Infadels also stand out, despite a remix which doesn't do the original justice. Combine these with a few other less known bands and stormin' tracks, you have yourself possibly the greatest electro album out now.