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The Rapture - Echoes


Review: Jack Foley

THE New York music scene continues to deliver some of the most talked about bands of the moment, from The White Stripes and Stellastarr to current favourites, The Rapture.

Yet you can have too much of a good thing, particularly when so much of it sounds the same.

The Rapture - comprised of Luke Jenner (vocals), Matt Safer, Vito Roccoforte and Gabe Andruzzi - possess that vibe about them, right now, which has helped to place them in the 'hot' caregory reserved almost exclusively for the NY scene, and sit comfortably in that 80s revivial, punk-funk envelope that seems to be sweeping all before it at present.

Yet as good as some of the songs are on Echoes, there is a familiarity about much of the album which makes it difficult to get excited about.

Take Jenner's vocals, for example, which, at times, resemble Robert Smith's so much that it is hard not to imagine yourself listening to a Cure record, albeit a not so good one; or the more frenetic moments, when comparisons with Hot Hot Heat, or even The Strokes, spring to mind.

It is little wonder that one US music journo once dubbed them, 'The Disco Strokes' after hearing their singles, House of Jealous Lovers and Olio.

Yet it is during the livelier moments that the album actually works best, for attempts to slow things down, as in the muddled Open Up Your Heart, take the strained vocals a little too far and sound a little painful as a result.

The disco vibe that has been attributed to them at least marks a difference from the pure guitar of bands such as The Strokes, or The Cure, and serves to lend a dance-orientated feel to the likes of I Need Your Love, Olio and Sister Saviour, for example.

All three are great tracks and you wish there were more moments like it throughout the album.

Current single, House of Jealous Lovers, is another little gem, a shimmering, nervy record, which is packed full of the edgy guitars that are a trademark of The Raptures' sound.

And given America's fascination for all things 80s based, it is little wonder to find so many influences from that era, with tracks such as The Coming of Spring sounding especially like Talking Heads' Psycho Killer, and plenty of vocal references to John Lydon or The Clash.

But there are moments when the stretched vocal style and ragged, raw guitars feel a little too forced, and, as a result, non-descript - such as Heaven and title track, Echoes.

The album is brought to a suitably satisfying close, however, with the fresh sounding Love Is All, and the brooding Infatuation, which suggest that, beyond the surface, there is a lot more to The Rapture's make-up that has yet to reveal itself.

Funky at times, downright painful at others, this will no doubt make big waves with the punk-funk revivalists, while also suggesting that the best is yet to come.

 

 

Track listing:
1. Olio
2. Heaven
3. Open Up Your Heart
4. I Need Your Love
5. The Coming Of Spring
6. House Of Jealous Lovers
7. Echoes
8. Killing
9. Sister Saviour
10. Love Is All
11. Infatuation

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