Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Threat From Outer Space

This is my Discorder review of Threat From Outer Space's latest album.

Threat From Outer Space
Bleeding the Dying Elephant
By Andrea Warner

Threat From Outer Space label their live show as a ‘barn burning dance floor graveyard”, and damned if they don’t make the energy transcend the boundaries of stereo speakers, bursting through with the shoulder-bobbing, booty-shaking new album, Bleeding the Dying Elephant.

The five-piece from East Vancouver take elements of rap, hip-hop, and indie pop, and sets them against a grand backdrop of humming, synthesized beats and grand flourishes of trumpet. The sound is familiar to more mainstream fare, but the unique rhythms keep things fresh.

One of the album’s best tracks, “I’ll Get Over”, brings on the funk with searing trumpets while another stand out, “Beginning of the End”, the album’s last track, brings the volume down with a voice that’s almost a dark whisper before flaring into a full-bodied chorus layered with electronics.

“5:40 AM” is exactly the kind of song you want to end the party on with its slow groove and subtly suggestive beat. “Stay Awake” offers up sinfully slow bass and an awesome Q & A chorus to counteract the track’s sing-speak resonance.

Even the lyrically tired “Guesswork”, which offers a recycled groaner like “9/11 was an inside job”, can’t mute the pulsing beats and charming brass that pushes the song from mediocre to good. “Worldwide” attempts to highlight the global intricacies of war, environment, and poverty—it’s pretty far-reaching, and at times feels more like a sermon than a solution or exploration, but at least it’s thought provoking.

TFOS’s socialist approach to making music lists the “key players” in the band, but doesn’t isolate the contributions. It’s just one more oddly confounding detail about this East Side gem.

No comments: