Sunday, October 20, 2013

REVIEW: World's End Press - World's End Press

At first glance, World's End Press stand comfortably in the middle of that big intersection of dance rock, synth pop, baggy Manchester, and electronic dance music.  Perhaps imagine that Happy Mondays merged with Cut Copy and reinvented themselves for the DFA roster. Yes, big beats, pulsing and shimmering synths, soaring vocals get your feet moving and blood pumping.  And a few tracks demonstrate the band's ability to slow it down and make it quiet.  But whether dancing under the colored lights or listening intently in the candlelight, you'll find it all performed with a keen sense of what makes a pop song work.

But in fact, it is even more than that.  World's End Press are masters in using the mode of dance music, and its various iterations over the years, to make distinctive and memorable tracks.  The first four tracks showcase their versatility, and command of the range expression available for dance music.  They Melbourne quartet then slow the party down for "Vanguard", a soulful piano ballad.  But the beats per minute ramp up for the following "Reformation Age", one of the album's showcase tracks.  Perhaps a bit too moody to be an all-out party anthem, it is well-conceived synth pop with a building groove.  Dark disco may be as good a label as any other.

The following "Deadbeat Sweet" features a dirty bass groove for a bit of mid-tempo dance noir, and has become one of my favorites on the album.

Proceedings slow again for the quirky electronica of "Chewing Gum Prayer".  "Your Time Will Come (I)" provides another dose of intriguing electronica, but "Your Time Will Come (II)", "Natural Curiosity" and "Out" beg for the disco mirror ball to commence spinning again.

To say that this is dance music to take seriously isn't meant to deny the fun, but to emphasize the high level of craft.  Or, to put it another way, it seems to me that this group respects its audience, and puts in the time and effort that respect deserves.

World's End Press are John Parkinson, Rhys Richards, Sashi Dharann and Tom Gould.  World's End Press was released October 4 via Liberation Music.

Liberation Music

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