Monday, 22 February 2010

Archie Bronson Outfit: PCCP fails to think of good-enough headline

After a break that's not long enough to merit one of those stock features that lists how the world has changed since their last album, but long enough for me to adopt an unbecoming giddiness, agreeably listenable rump-friendly guitar-scratchers Archie Bronson Outfit are re-entering our consciousness with a new album, Coconut, out on Domino on March 1, with Shark's Tooth, rendered visually in the square below, as the first single. Kind sods that they are, they're giving that away free here.

After 2006's Derdang Derdang, which saw the band sounding as if Arcade Fire had shifted from whiney to narky but still happy to let themselves have a breather, Coconut offers definite signs of a band getting their shit together. This is in no small part due to the presence of DFA production whizz Tim Goldsworthy, as the man in charge of pushing record on the tape machine and asking them to record summat 15 times before deciding that take 2 was the one to use. That's not to say that it's the DFA pixie dust that makes Coconut so swell - the indie-disco-friendly beats were there in tracks like Dead Funny and Dart For My Sweetheart - but it's more a case that Golsdworthy has wound them up and let them go, rounding out the sound and pushing them further into their craft.

More vibrant and energetic, it also explores sounds they'd developed before, tightly refined garage riffing allied to nagging melody, but with a more refined delivery. Goldsworthy just pushes them into a more accessible territory of ballsy psyche beats, one that Primal Scream parked in circa Vanishing Point and that Kasabian had been rather hogging of late. But tracks like Chunk also show they're also willing to strip it all down to a molecular level, with untreated guitars hanging over cardboard box drums, while Wild Strawberries offers carpet-bombing drone and beats with aggressive aplomb.

And the beards are still there, which is perhaps the most important aspect. So, all told, a job well done.

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