8 July 2013

8th July - Ratatat's LP3

Artist – Album: Ratatat – LP3
Released: 8th July 2008
Sounds Like: They’re missing one vital cog
Before today I knew Ratatat for two songs: the exhilarating ‘Seventeen Years’, which, like many of my favourite songs from the last half decade or so, I first stumbled upon on one of Pitchfork Media’s top 100 tracks of the year, and which for me is inexorably linked with the party scene before the mega monster rampage in Cloverfield; and ‘Bird Priest’, a foreign sounding piece of electro-indie, which was my ex-girlfriend’s ringtone and hence makes me look for a phone whenever I hear it, Pavlov’s dog style. So what I actually knew about Ratatat was this – they do instrumentals. On guitars and keyboards. And they’re quite cool.
What’ve I learned about them after listening to LP3 then? Well, not a lot more to be honest. Half of the album is danceable rock, built around multilayered wailing guitars like ‘Seventeen Years’, whilst the other half is the same electronica as ‘Bird Priest’, bumping and beeping in vaguely interesting ways. They never venture far from this set up -  Black Heroes’ is a memorable ballad, ‘Bruleé’ is whimsical pop and ‘Mi Viejo’ has an element of flamenco to it, but in truth the band operate exclusively within their box here. 
What’s more, whilst I’m not exactly a lyrics man – I tend to focus on the music more than the poetry, and on more than one occasion I’ve found out that I had been completely oblivious to the actual meaning of some songs that I’ve listened to (though not as badly as a great friend of mine, who used to naively sing along to the main chorus of Band Aid’s Do They Know? with the words “Beano world”) – some vocals would be nice. I’ve only reviewed one other instrumental album in 190 days of Analbumaday… and that (Copia by Eluvium) had a deep, textured sound akin to classical music, rather than the experimental rock on offer here.

They still do instrumentals. Still mostly on guitars and keyboards. And I can’t deny that they’re still cool. I’m just looking for something a bit more exciting.

Albumaday... rating: 6/10

1.       Shiller – 4:18
2.       Falcon Jab – 3:55
3.       Mi Viejo – 2:40
4.       Mirando – 3:52
5.       Flynn – 1:56
6.       Bird-Priest – 3:07
7.       Shempi – 3:58
8.       Imperials – 3:34
9.       Dura – 3:08
10.   Bruleé – 3:43
11.   Mumtaz Khan – 2:38
12.   Gipsy Threat – 1:38
13.   Black Heroes – 4:06

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