Late of the Pier
Fantasy Black Channel


4.0
excellent

Review

by Fugue USER (58 Reviews)
December 20th, 2008 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Simply put this is a better version of The Klaxons’ “Myths Of The Near Future” and about as good as nu-rave can get.

Ah nu-rave, the recent ‘trendy’ and often overlooked genre, famed for the energetic fusion of electronics with indie rock and the psychedelic visual displays that accompany it, more often than not involving glow sticks. As of now, the only real bands to have made an impact with nu-rave music are The Klaxons and Hadouken! but not any more. Enter Late Of The Pier, a four piece act hailing from Nottinghamshire, England. Their sound blends typical nu-rave elements with funk rock, and even some progressive rock elements, to create a raw, unique mesh of nu-rave bliss.

To be honest, the premise behind this album just should not work. Giving four boys, barely men, free roam of four different recording studios to mash their music up as much as they like should result in a ridiculous mess. The Klaxons' were outrageous enough but this is like “Myths Of The Near Future” on LSD, and it’s good. The album starts with an instrumental intro in “Hot Tent Blues”, immediately introducing the audience with a taste of what’s to come. The heavy bass lines in this track will instantaneously either delight or disgust and although a simple intro, it provides all the necessary attributes for a potential listener to tell whether they will enjoy the album or not.

The influence of The Klaxons’ debut is not to be underestimated here. Although Late of the Pier are decidedly better than the Klaxons, without “Myths Of The Near Future” there would be no “Fantasy Black Channel”. In nearly every track, you can pick out influences from said album, whether it is the huge beats found on songs such as “Space And The Woods” and “Gravity’s Rainbow” respectively, or the use of bass centric riffs in many of the songs. However fine the line between influence and plagiarism, the boys from Late Of The Pier definitely stay grounded in the influence zone, a good omen, considering the mad rush of seemingly pointless lawsuits in the music business recently.

The word mellow appears not to feature in the bands vocabulary, as every song on Fantasy Black Channel is infused with heavy techno beats designed to get even the dreariest of people on their feet. Catchy rhythms are prominent, such as the beautiful, harpsichord driven rhythm to instrumental “VW” and the eloquent if slightly extravagant music in “Mad Dogs And Englishmen” which finishes with an arrestingly excellent funk beat before flowing seamlessly into album highlight “Bathroom Gurgle” which is the epitome of everything Late Of The Pier try to achieve with this album. A great vocal performance aids the immensely catchy bass line, which drives the song forward to the breathtakingly simple, yet enormously enjoyable chorus.

However don’t make any premature assumptions on this album as unfortunately it is not all this good. Although clearly there are moments of brilliance, at times the song writing can get lazy, none more so that on the tedious “Heartbeat” which is fundamentally just the same forty seconds of music repeated throughout. Although having an interesting outro involving some very tight guitar work, it is far too short to give any saving grace to the track or prevent it being the weak point of the album. Similarly the dreary and overly long “The Enemy Are Our Future” does nothing to enhance the album, instead just plodding along at an infuriating middle-ground pace.

This album is a mixed bag of brilliant, infectiously fun, hyperactive music and lazy monotony. At there best, this band really shine above and beyond any of their contemporaries, however they sometimes lack a sense of drive and focus. Despite its obvious flaws, Fantasy Black Channel is much more hit than miss, and offers a refreshing, unique take on today’s music scene. Evidently Late of the Pier are a band for the future, but with this debut release under their belts, they could quite literally take the world by storm, all they need to do now is avoid the dreaded ‘disappointing second album syndrome’ that befalls so many promising British bands, and the sky is their limit.

Recommended tracks
- Space And The Woods
- Bears Are Coming
- Mad Dogs And Englishmen
- Bathroom Gurgle

Overall 4.0 Excellent



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user ratings (77)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Fugue
December 20th 2008


7353 Comments


Finally complete, yay

thunder15
December 20th 2008


619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

props mate.
well done review. I feel basically the same way about them.
can't wait for their next album.
shocked that someone on sputnik actually knows about this and took the time to review it haha

Fugue
December 20th 2008


7353 Comments


haha wow, someone commented my review, I'm shocked. Thought this was going to be ignored completely lol.

Yeah they have real potential, their next album is either going to be amazing or awful, and personally I'm hoping for the former.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Fantabulous review Ross... You really nailed this one as far as I'm concerned (and I haven't even heard the album). Initially I thought that you were going to reference the Klaxons a little too much and not describe the music here. But just when I thought that, you seemed to realise it yourself and clearly described many individual tracks and the album's sound as a whole. I look forward to giving this a listen in the new year on the back of your review. Pos.

Fugue
December 21st 2008


7353 Comments


Thanks for the compliments Davey. When I wrote this, I knew it was a pretty good review, so I was glad to be able to put it out. Bit of a shame no-one on sputnik really seems to care about this band much though.This Message Edited On 12.21.08

thunder15
December 21st 2008


619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't think this album is available in the states yet, so that reduces your potential audience haha...
are they even planning on releasing it over there?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, it's all a bit sad... Especially since 95% of reviewers would have heard MGMT's 'Oracular Spectacular' and not heard this, which is not too dissimilar. Then again, what am I saying, since I am in that 95%!?

Willie
Moderator
December 21st 2008


15976 Comments


Daveyboy - I sent you an e-mail, but I don't know if the address you have listed is correct. Did you get it? If not, shoot me an e-mail please... it's my screen name at gmail.com
I apologize for doing this here, but I have no other way.

Digging: Necropoli - I

Bleak123
December 21st 2008


1902 Comments


Good review, I should probably check this out!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 21st 2008


20857 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Nah, I didn't get it Trey... But have emailed you back.

thejared
December 21st 2008


199 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

one of my faves this year ... so awesome

Digging: Perfume Genius - Too Bright

Fugue
December 21st 2008


7353 Comments


Ahh yeah, never crossed my mind that it had only been released in the UK. Real shame, as it is a great album.

thunder15
January 13th 2009


619 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it came out in the USA today.
HUZZAH!

Fugue
January 16th 2009


7353 Comments


Thats good; means that hopefully more people will hear it.

kirinphonetic
February 19th 2009


8 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I've been listening to Late of the Pier since they posted free downloads of there songs on Last.fm a long time ago and i'm glad they finally have a full album out, everyone should check out this bandThis Message Edited On 02.19.09

Fugue
February 24th 2009


7353 Comments


everyone should check out this band


Well I think thats exaggerating a tad, I don't see hardcore metalheads getting much out of this. However if you like the style it is one of the better releases out there :-)

industrialjunkie92
April 9th 2009


167 Comments


I used to love this album and then the other day i listened to it and... it was shit

samr4563
September 13th 2009


43 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ahh I wish you could've described Focker or Broken a bit more, in my opinion those are some of the best tracks on the album.

Great band!

dragonaut
November 17th 2009


62 Comments


Agreed with samr4563, Focker has one of the most satisfying breakdowns I've ever heard and Broken is a brilliantly bouncy nu funk number. So as you can tell I love this album, saw them live and fell in love with them. I feel I shouldn't like this with my metal roots but it really is excellent. Hope the new albums just as good.

Fugue
November 21st 2009


7353 Comments


Ehh I found Focker and Broken to get a little boring after a while, whereas the ones I described in detail left a lasting impression. Album is full of gold though, so I'm not surprised you guys like different tracks to me.



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