a schizophrenic, frantic blast of varying styles...
David Renshaw

12:17 28th July 2008

If you can find a more exciting British band than Late Of The Pier then we are in for a great few years. Innovative, visceral and bursting at the seams with energy and ideas LOTP make music that should be so beyond their young ages that it only adds to the idea that they might actually be aliens that landed here to broadcast their space music to a generation of exuberant adolescents.

It’s fair to say LOTP have probably not been taken too seriously thus far, maybe it’s the lack of cohesive narrative in the songs, the flagrant courting of the All Ages market or the fact that their influences (Eno, Numan, Japan) are visible from the moon but that’s going to change with the launch of ‘Fantasy Black Channel’. This album will make people sit up and listen, across the board these 12 tracks are bold, expansive and progressively brilliant.

The feeling that this would be merely the singles (‘Bathroom Gurgle’, Space and The Woods, The Bears Are Coming’) and a load of filler is instantly dismissed within the opening ten seconds of the Muse aping camp operatic introduction to ‘Hot Tent Blues’ that breaks into ‘Broken’ one of the finest tracks on ‘Fantasy Black Channel’. Following this are ‘Space and The Woods’ and ‘Whitesnake’ that burst out of the speakers and the speed of light stomping their feet and flailing arms at the same time, it’s an exhausting trip but an utterly exuberant one at the same time.

Some credit must go to producer Erol Alkan here too. Having revived the 70’s with Long Blondes on ‘Couples’ and the 80’s with Mystery Jets on ‘21’ this year he has impressed. However with LOTP he has proven that filling rooms with massive synths and bigger beats, creating a sound of the future is what he does best. Reining in these four boys from Donington imaginations and creativity into an organized and direct LP can’t have been easy but he has managed it whilst simultaneously making the walls bounce with the noise of it all. Erol truly is keeping the kids dancing.

Beyond the immediacy of the singles LOTP explore the psychedelic on ‘Random Firl’, afro beat via Mars on ‘The Enemy Are The Future’ and straight pop with ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’.

‘Fantasy Black Channel’ is probably best summed up by the closing track and previous Moshi Moshi single ‘Bathroom Gurgle’ a schizophrenic, frantic blast of varying styles weaved together to make one sound. This variation is what makes FBC so great, it never delves far enough into any one mode to get bogged down by it, merely dipping it’s toe and then moving on to the next. It creates a transient and fast moving environment that keeps the listener on their toes and wondering where things are going next.

One suspects things are only going to get weirder.

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