Django Django Django Django(Because Music) Buy it from Insound
Django Django’s self titled debut is a bit of an enigma. The album begins with a pounding introduction, led by thumping drums and big keyboards. It immediately precedes an excellent song about a comet, which is followed by songs about hangovers, the origin of man, and god knows what else. It may sound strange just for the sake of strange, but it’s anything but. In the end, it’s a brilliantly and smartly crafted pop record, full of great hooks and dramatic flourishes. They don’t sing them like anybody else, but they’re certainly there and they’ll stick in your head as well as anything else.
Hail Bop is, as the name would imply, the song about a comet. It introduces the strange guitar work that never lets go. It’s sparse, often overshadowed, but subtly propels the album forward. There’s very little done to it, save a bit of reverb or delay. No distortion, no wah. Just strummed electric guitar, played in a propulsive and unusual manner. Default features it even more prominently, with staccato bursts of untreated guitar. The song also features layers of vocal samples that drop in and out, along with a variety of keyboard flourishes. The record takes a fair number of stylistic departure, but the bizarre guitar and chanted, layered vocals holds it all together. They’re always present, no matter what direction the rest of the band wants to go. Firewater is the first to go off somewhere else, and it’s a shuffling 12 bar blues song about night of drinking and the impending hangover. It’s got one of the best basslines I’ve heard all year.
The best comparison is Clinic’s Internal Wrangler, not because they sound alike but because they both from unexpected sonic places with unexpected results. But where Internal Wrangler was weirdly disturbing and full of discomfort, Django Django seem to revel in being weird and sound genuinely happy doing it. The melodies are catch and pleasing, full of sharply written, witty lyricism. Not a thing about it is forced. It’s a classic slow grower, immediately pleasing but not striking. It’s a record that needs some time to sneak in and grab on.
I could go on and on, describing the intricacies and details of every song. It makes for a truly fascinating listen, but it’s one you should have on your own. It’s more fun to listen to and pick apart than just about anything else in 2012. It’s a buffet of sounds, led by an insane chef with unlimited kitchen supplies and no predetermined menu. Yeah, he has his own distinct style that you’ll hear in every song, but he’s also serving you spaghetti tacos. You wouldn’t think those spaghetti tacos would be any good, but he’s such a good cook that he can pull it off. That’s Django Django. They’re taking everything they have at their disposal and mixing it all together, creating something undeniably unique and fantastic.13 June, 2012 - 08:49 — Andrew Baer