Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In Ghost Colours - Cut/Copy

In Ghost Colours

Modular Records.

SCQ Rating: 76%

Is it indie-rock or electronic? Are they mash-up artists or a genuine band? And as the young record store employee with the cowboy boots asked, are they French or what? With so much love for house music in their compositions, I can’t help but understand where she was coming from. They’re from Australia, as I later discovered, although at the time I simply responded “they’re probably just really big New Order fans”. At the time, they may as well have been and that brings me back to the aforequestioned dilemma Cut/Copy’s new album presents: at what point does style take precedence over songwriting? A combination of everything from Daft Punk to Depeche Mode, Cut/Copy primarily sounds like pirates of every cool band from 80s new wave. And even as I made that New Order comment while purchasing it, that’s pretty much what I was preparing myself for.

Whereas Cut/Copy’s choice of name complimented my initial misconception, title In Ghost Colours now represents an opposing viewpoint; that of a record drenched in chameleon-changes, slick and fluorescent like diesel puddles but rich in the best each skin has to offer. Incorporating their influences straight to sleeve, Cut/Copy have crafted a collection of impeccable pop songs, worthy of their cousinship to some of new wave’s greatest while adding their own blend of pop to the proceedings. ‘Out There On the Ice’ is straight dancefloor chic while ‘Haunted’, announced with razor-sharp guitar drones, is awesome indie-rock; two disparate ends of Cut/Copy’s accomplished genre-melding. That the band’s highlights are both multiple and seemingly contrary is indicative of In Ghost Colour’s splendor: ‘Unforgettable Season’ is as lively and nostalgic as its title suggests (lord knows we've all had one) while ‘Far Away’ presents a fair case why pop music, at its unapologetic best, is too purely addictive for the stagnancy of contemporary radio.

Although a few of these fifteen tracks are ambient segues, ominous and brief like spectral encounters, In Ghost Colours still outstays its welcome in the final third, spreading thin when it could’ve been mean and purposeful at twelve tracks. The occasional gaffe doesn’t deter what Cut/Copy have accomplished (and proven to me, discerning listener): this album has heart beneath all the suffocating style. Indie-rock or electronic, few records will humidify your summer evenings quite like this one. Embrace its ecstasy.

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