New Fast Automatic Daffodils


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Though they've been accused of being Happy Mondays soundalikes, New Fast Automatic Daffodils create quite an original racket on Pigeonhole. Mute is simply too smart of a label to sign a band of mimics. With a lazy, light dance vibe that can only be called groovy, Pigeonhole unfolds like a party on a platter. Repetitive vocals lines, evoking alternating gruff and laid-back moods, work quite nicely against a Peter Hook-sounding bass guitar. If the lyrics sometimes get a bit odd, as in "Fishes Eyes" with its talk of devils and fish eyes, the album's optimism-in-the-face-of-adversity theme is quite charming amid the catchy, accomplished music. Standout tracks include "Partial," "Big," "Amplfier," and "Partial." In these songs, New Fast Automatic Daffodils posture as if they're filtering the Happy Mondays ethic through Joy Division, the Birthday Party, and the Wedding Present. "Amplifier"'s tribal beats and hoarse vocals mark it as a song that should have been an underground hit. Pigeonhole's distant sound, thanks to smart production by the band and Danny Kelly, sets exactly the right stage for New Fast Automatic Daffodils' baggy vibes. Rolling beats, drugged guitars, and stylized vocals, all in the name of depressed funk, rarely work as well as they do here. Pigeonhole is a true gem in the genre of spacey, laid-back dance-rock.

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