Continuing in the same vein as their previous album, Sweden’s Pistol Disco plies both thick syrupy shoegaze/noise alongside stark and moody drones for Radiation, their new disc.
The roughest numbers, like the abrasive title track and “Walking With Jesus,” visceral as they are, still carry an innate melodicism beneath their layers of stereo-wrecking distortion. The latter, if toned significantly down, could easy pass for one of Stereolab’s mid-period meldings of lounge and Krautrock. While they might not inspire any semblance of dance-mania, they certainly give themselves more up to the groove than “When Tomorrow Hits” and “Sweetheart,” where limpid, four-chord progressions pool up on synths. There’s little transition between these two disparate sonic trajectories, and it speaks to the group’s sensibilities that they’re able to move from the realm of pleasant dream to nightmare and give the impression of flow between the two. The album closes with “The Sunshine Underground,” one of the duo’s most expressly vocal tracks. It’s built around a throbbing, bent-circuit drone and simple backbeat, and the lyrics are relegated to the echoed distance, but a level of clarity strengthens as the song marches on and it starts to resemble the heart-on-sleeve romantic simplicity of Jesus and Mary Chain.
Regardless of this being as pop as Pistol Disco gets, even if it’s just a stop on the way toward something more experimental, they have another front-to-back winner here.
Pistol Disco: www.pistoldisco.com