Review Summary: Music to make the paralysed man move.
In a world where electronically infused dance-punk has been commercially monopolised by Franz Ferdinand and replays of Arctic Monkeys’ pre-2010s hits, London outfit Artificial Pleasure has entered the scene. Alas, as of right now, still without a proper chart-striking hit. That feels unfair, The Horrors have struck out on their own journey of electronic pop obscurity and people cheered, HMLTD are nowadays full of potential and people love them on the underground level. Artificial Pleasure released an entire album of 12 absolute bangers and people sleep harder than on Xanax and Air’s 2000s music. Each song here strikes with unreal catchiness and immediately recognisable charisma. This truly is a band that managed to find their own sound right on their debut record. That idiosyncratic glitch sound of electronics swirling around on the background with popping bass to highlight the funk influences and deep vocals that can go into something operatic in no time; that for me is now Artificial Pleasure sound.
Not to mention the instantly memorable and charming tunes on display. Straight from the get-go, “I Need Something More” may not be the album’s regular verse-chorus built track, but that essence of fun and adventure is omnipresent. “Wound Up Tight” might as well be the most infectious song of the year. “All I Got”, apart from possessing a brilliant music video, is also a song combining occasional sections of beauty and body-moving chorus surprisingly well. “Basement” is a mere interlude, so its general vapidity is forgivable. Still, it sets the mood and ethereal atmosphere quite well. “Bolt from the Blue” works more on progression, building its cheeky melody towards a cathartic finish. “Young and Carefree” and “You Keep Me Coming Back for More” both present us with album’s more emotional and mellow side, while “People Get Everywhere” goes into anthemic sound. “Stammheim” finds itself in a similar spot as “Basement” before it, in that it is an instrumental interlude, but this time as a fully developed song with its emotional baggage and atmospheric beauty. “On a Saturday Night” is probably the most standard indie-like cut on the album in terms of song-writing, but instrumentally it manages to reach into some odd places, adding a little acoustic guitar behind walls of synths and electronics and then managing to lay video game-like sounds in between. It goes into some wild places, while trying to make itself sound as ordinary as possible. “Turn to Dust” is yet another instrumental piece, but also fully developed with grounded beginning and end, not a mere interlude. “I’ll Make It Worth Your While” then as a final cut once again blasts you with that danceable beat now typical of the band, a beat that is catchier than an STDs at 70s punk party. It’s a record to make a neurotic jam and snap fingers.
Listen, jam, dance and vibe or may David Byrne’s holy ghost be your judge.