I Love You
Bell Ord Forrest
It was weird, man, I was looking at the back cover of this album — a blurry, garishly-colored onstage shot of the I Love You duo of Justin Randel and Charlie Mylie kneeling down in front of an array of archaic electronics, drenched in sweat, with one guy looking back at the camera with a Charles Manson-style smile — and I thought to myself, I know what I’d really “like” this album to sound like, but how unlikely would that be? I was gloriously wrong. I Love You was just what I needed to hear right now. I don’t know a thing about them, but they sound like spiritual peers of Suicide, Quintron, Telephathik Friend, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, and Gang Gang Dance. They craft haphazard, spiraling towers of primitive electronic groove noise and dayglo-gothic mantras.
These are simple songs, but goddamn they’re fucking good. “The Colloquialism Is Simply ‘Gas'” has a tight-ass mod groove filtered through a prism of broken synths and effects pedals, dreamy choirboy harmonies float in and out of strident soulboy sloganeering draped in echo. And then they follow that up — no pause whatsoever — with the death rock disco of “This Is The Best Birthday Ever.” Wire-esque guitar stabs, hand claps, and pained moans elbow for space in a ridiculously funky bass-and-drum soup. Two for two! Then it’s two sort of early Martin-Rev-meets-Kraftwerk calculator Hummel Figurine freakout dance parties leading up to the eight-minute monster that is “Making Snow Angles In Angel Dust,” a glorious collage of everything that was great about eighties British postpunk; this pil styled drone-und-purge is like the lost track of Metal Box, down to the vocalist channeling Johnny Lydon’s acerbic moans and exclamation points under a beyond-repetitive dance groove — just a hint of Happy Mondays, more than a hint of “Albatross.” It ends too soon. There are three songs after that, and every single one is fucking crackerjack (like the eight-bit musicbox and Bad Seeds screamy freakout at the end of “Pillow Talk”). You’ve heard this kind of thing before, but geez, it still sounds good.
Joyful Noise: www.joyfulnoiserecordings.com