I got myself into a row about music the other day. I try not to, but sometimes I can’t help it. See, I hate Queen, and am a lifelong republican. When the Meghan and Harry stuff blew up I tweeted on my personal account to the affect that “its hard to know which I despise more, the band Queen or The Queen. Both should be outlawed as things that only stupid people like.”

Now, my problem is I forget people I know are going to see it and straight away the WhatsApp group I am in with some mates from work is full of stuff like: “are you calling my mum thick, she likes Queen”. And etc etc.

Yet, I do believe that there are certain bands that people who don’t like music like. Queen, Abba, The Beatles, and I have no time for any of them. It always seems to me, that there is so much more interesting stuff around to bother with the sort of thing that drunk people will be belting out on June 21st.

I suppose, in fairness, the fact that the easily pleased will be doing that means more chance for the rest of us to explore the outer reaches. And that is where “Is 4 Lovers” resides.

All this preamble is my way of trying to say that I actually have no idea at all what I am supposed to say about “….Lovers” beyond the fact I like it. And I am not quite sure why.

The problem is that the good people at Spinefarm  – not to mention the band themselves – probably deserve more, but whilst you can say things like “primal” about “Modern Guy” what you can’t say is it is “conventional”.

It was ever thus for the Canadian duo, to be fair, for 18 years or so Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler have appeared every so often with a collection that’s a bit of a head scratcher. This one, in truth is more of a headfuck, given some of the paths it takes – and it is not the most immediate of records.

All, that is, except the quite astonishing “One + One” all chugging glam rock stomp and the desire to drop acid in the 1990s. not since Radiator were around has anything sounded like this.

The big beats and big riffs of “Free Animal” come close, to achieving a similar perfection.

It says much for the short, sharp shock of the album that “NYC Power Elite” is split into two parts but is still less than five minutes. Punk rock done by DFA, with vitriolic lyrics to match, when the line “I haven’t carried cash since 9/11” is delivered, you won’t understand why, and frankly you won’t care. You’ll just be swept along.

“Totally Wiped Out” adds a more hardcore edge, but that is the last of anything that approaches any kind of normality. “Glass Houses” does 80s disco flavourings, “Love Letter” is oddly sweet, piano led and soulful, it is wilfully buried under some ambient noise by the end. Leading into “Mean Street” which has a cinematic quality, before it veers a little close to self-indulgence for my tastes.

The last one “No War” does something much the same, and is two thirds superb before heading off to some white noise, and on reflection, that might be a decent summation of “Is 4 Lovers” itself. For two thirds of it, it is right up there with DFA’s very, very best work, the last couple….not so much.

If we must torture a metaphor then with this record, the foreplay is incredible. The early going is a hell of a ride and the climax a little unsatisfactory.

Rating 7/10

Previous article
Next article

More From Author


Popular Posts

Latest Gig Reviews

Latest Music Reviews


Band Of The Day