Review Summary: Holy Electro!
In a way that makes my job easier, I can tell you that you’ve probably experienced the Fist Of God
at least once before. And if you haven’t, you should – call it a right of passage if you will. Because see, Fist Of God
is a hell of a party. And chances are you’ve been to this one. Yes it went off
, yes you hooked up and no, you probably don’t remember it. The convenient excuse was the alcohol and that through the dim light of the flickering disco ball over the dance floor grease, well, you couldn’t really see anyone anyway. But that’s a lie. The problem – the real
problem – with this party was that it was just like every other party you’ve been to this summer, and after a while it bled through memory to become just another one of those
Not that MSTRKRFT were really aiming for anything else here of course – which is a shame. After all, considering that Jesse Keeler’s old band (Death From Above 1979) inadvertently set up the entire template for the indie-electro movement that’s dominated dance scene ever since, and that MSTRKRFT’s first album, The Looks
, did nothing but further fuel the fire, there was some hope that Fist Of God
would have been just as forward thinking. Not so. While The Looks
never really bought into the heart of electro, its sound still retained elements of late 90s vocal house that let it breathe with a subtlety that was embraced by indie folk with a penchant for the electronic. Fist of God
makes no such concessions. Breathing is for the weak here, with everything being more in your face than ever before, while the catch word of the day is heavy
– ripping basslines tear through songs while melodies furiously swirl among the chaos, in perfect step with club orientated electro-pop. Its confidence abounds, and well, put it this way, when your album cover is fist full of ladies ass
es, you should know what you’re in for.
It’s shameless, and MSTERKRFT do it with absolutely zero remorse, summing up their entire attitude with a line from lead single “Bounce”: “All I do it party, ha ha ha, So bounce low, bounce up, bounce high – All I do is party!”
. And party they do, with “Vuvuvu”, “Click Click”, and “1000 Cigarettes” capturing the essence of electro with almost reckless abandon, driving the album along with their pounding, relentless rhythm and out of focus synth lines. It’s a tad sad though that for newcomers to the band, it’d be easy to dismiss them as having simply sucked the essences out of Justice and Boys Noize and repackaged it as a new album by a new band. Hell, “Bounce” samples Daft Punk’s “Television Rules The Nation” so thoroughly you may as well be listening to Alive 2007
. Still, while MSTRKFT don’t exactly bring anything new to the table, Fist Of God
does hint very subtly at a change in the mainstream with tunes like “It Ain’t Love” and “Breakaway”, suggesting that house may well make its comeback into mainstream dance, albeit in electro garb.
Unfortunately though, for all it’s hard edged rockin’, Fist Of God
is just waaay too single minded and stubborn to allow itself any room for difference - while the revolving door of guests makes for some nice vocal variation here and there, there’s not much any of them do to break Fist Of God
out of it’s party hard attitude - you’d think that at the very least rap god Ghostface Killah would bust out a sick rhyme or two, but alas no, he’d reduced to a role of “****in ****n ****in ****in ****in” instead. (“Word Up”). Meanwhile, although soulster John Legend adds a touch of class to the piano centered and almost ballady “Heartbreaker”, the song still ends up being a rather forgettable affair. So yes, Fist of God
is very much in step with all the party rage of every other club track album that’s been released in the last year or so – and that’s exactly its problem. If you’re looking for an album to dance, groove and boogie hard to till the break of day, be my guest. Any more than that, well, MSTRKFT don’t really give a damn.