Micachu & The Shapes : Never
The unorthodox debut from the UK’s Micachu & The Shapes, Jewellery, was overseen by left-field electronica troublemaker Matthew Herbert. Never picks up where that album left off and shows that Mica Levi doesn’t need Herbert at the helm to make a whole big bunch of crazy. These 14 tracks are cobbled together with all sorts of sounds from a variety of nontraditional instruments, many of which are impossible to decipher. Echoing the band’s name, the music often sounds like random shapes that collide together and create compositions as if they were happy accidents.
What holds it all together is that this is pop music. Demented pop music, yes, but there are some strangely catchy songs here. For example, Low Dogg’s seesaw melody gets stuck in your head, even though the lyric is about having your neck broken and the music sounds like someone falling down the stairs with the cutlery drawer. There’s a great sense of humour throughout too, like the vacuum cleaner suddenly being switched off during Easy or the chit chat interlude in Glamour. Late into the album, Levi tries her hand at more extensive, slower songs with Fall and Nothing shuffling away from her usual rabid noise-pop.
Never allures with its sly DIY styles. It’s thinking music, perhaps, but at least the band do all the thinking and allow us the pleasure of just sitting back and having fun with it.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: Low Dogg
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In A Word: Oddball