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Django Django

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Album Review

Three years after their double A-side single "Storm"/"Love's Dart" prompted claims that they were the saviors of the guitar band scene, London-based Edinburgh four-piece Django Django finally commit their quirky brand of intelligent art rock to a full-length album. While the group risked missing the boat with such a lengthy wait, the recent success of fellow avant-garde purveyors Everything Everything and Metronomy suggests their refusal to rush has worked in their favor. Indeed, with indie audiences now eschewing the usual ramshackle "meat and two veg" outfits in favor of something a little more stimulating, its timing couldn't have been better. They'll certainly find plenty of intrigue here, as frontman Vincent Neff's sun-soaked harmonies weave their way around an array of jerky rhythms, spacy electronic bleeps, and acoustic folk-pop riffs on 13 tracks that sound like Franz Ferdinand, the Beach Boys, and the Beta Band (whose keyboardist John is drummer David's brother) have collided in one almighty experimental jam session. Initially, it's a thrilling listen, with the jangly surf-pop of "Hail Bop," the video-game funk of "Zumm Zumm," and the glitchy jazz-blues of "Firewater," the latter the only time they venture anywhere near the same territory as the legendary guitarist who inspired their moniker, all proving the band's hyperactive nature doesn't get in the way of an infectious melody. But halfway through, the band seem to run out of ideas, with several uninspired Wild West pastiches (the Tarantino-ish foot-stomper "WOR," the twangy Americana of "Life's a Beach") and a meandering instrumental ("Skies Over Cairo") that borders on the gimmicky. Django Django may be just a bit too obtuse to repeat the success of their Mercury-nominated labelmates, but while it doesn't quite live up to their early hype, it's still an encouraging first offering, suggesting that they might do with album number two. ~ Jon O'Brien, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 2008 in Dalston, London, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although this psychedelic art pop quartet formed in Dalston, London at the end of 2008, the bandmembers had met earlier in the decade at the Edinburgh College of Art. Vocalist and guitarist Vinny Neff and drummer Dave Maclean played their first impromptu East London live dates with Duncan Marquiss of Glasgow's the Phantom Band on bass. Jimmy Dixon soon stepped in to replace him, however, and graphic designer Tommy Grace joined on keyboards to complete their core lineup. By the time of the release...
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