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Naïve New Beaters: Wallace

Parisian electro-rockers ain’t gonna get more designer-cool than this as they rap out the funkiest LA-obsessed rhymes over a backing that hammers the early 80s for inspiration, with definite nods to Blondie throughout. NNB, however, without the soothing/exciting vocals of a Debbie Harry, instead rely on Beastie Boys-style bro-hop stylings to get the point across. And the point is, largely, to dance and look damned cool whilst doing it. There are moments on the album that veer toward the harder points in G.Love And Special Sauce’s career, with storytelling always to the fore. ‘Live Good’, for example, is both a calling card and a boast, whilst ‘Janeiro’ has a guitar loop and hip hop beat that recalls Fun Lovin’ Criminals more than anyone else.

That this is an album that often sounds dated is irrelevant because that is almost definitely the point; Naïve? Nope. New? No chance. Beaters? Definitely. These loop-heavy compositions are like a sonic jigsaw of everything that’s worked in neon-punk clubs since 1978. ‘Dual Income No Kids’, for example, appropriates the chords from, bizarrely, Underworld’s ‘Born Slippy’ to create something of a modern counterpart to that 90s-defining celebration of the twin delights of exhilaration and boorish nihilism, and ‘The Last Badaboum’ has a lot in common with Tim Armstrong and The Transplants in a more positive mood. That duality is not out of place on an album that flirts with the outer edges of relevance before deciding to fuck it all off and just get down and dirty with another vodka tonic.

Joe Shooman

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