Django Django by Django Django: talk about the department of redundancy department. To make it even more amusing, they sound like the musical equivalent of Rango, the Johnny Depp-starred animated Western. Fortunately for the listener, the London indie rockers’ songs are full of everything beside Mumford and Sons-ish repetition. Their self-titled debut is 13 assorted and amusing psych pop songs that make for one of the major surprise albums and bands of 2012.
I stumbled upon this band’s debut due to their lead single “Default”, which for the life of me I can’t remember where I heard it (probably some TV show or movie). The song is both rollicking and mesmerizing in the best way: its glitchy effects and spaghetti-western stomp combines nicely with the Pink Floyd-ish lyrics and vocal delivery. The song stands out on its own, but when mixed with 12 other exciting and hypnotic tracks, it blends nicely into the larger album.
The album itself opens on an intro track which slowly builds steam towards “Hail Bop”, a dynamic with a bright reverb heavy riff underlined by an elastic rhythm. “Hail Bop” – minus the sunny harmony vocal –reminds me of fellow London pop craftsmen, Hot Chip’s “Out At The Pictures”, and how it similarly laid the groundwork for Made In The Dark. The band employs the playfulness of Hot Chip but in a more understated matter. The first band I thought of when I heard Django Django was the swirling psych pop of 90’s pioneers the Beta Band. Funny enough, I read when reading up on the band, that this isn’t a total coincidence; the band’s drummer Dave Maclean is the younger brother of Beta Band’s keyboard player John Maclean. The band no doubt pulled some pieces from Beta Band as well as fellow 90’s pioneer and music chameleon Beck. “Firewater” rides on the back of a bohemian drum and bass line and rambles along the bluesy acoustic guitar. “Wor” opens with a foreboding surf rock riff, building towards a knee-jerking sidewinder of a song with a wisely contrasting calm chorus; it slaps you around and then ices you down with each chorus.
Not everything on the album reaches the heights of “Wor” or “Default”, but everything is downright fun to listen to. Django Django seems to spend a lot of time with the allure of the desert, whether that’s the Western American desert (“Firewater”, “Waveforms”, “Hand of Man”) or the Egyptian one (“Life’s A Beach”, “Skies Over Cairo”), the band finds interesting sounds in building on the hypnotic blinding nature of the dry landscape, except this band is no mirage. They are satisfying and flavor-full beverage in a currently fairly dry and stiff musical climate.
Can’t Miss: “Default”, “Wor”, “Firewater”, “Zumm Zumm”
Can’t Hit: “Silver Rays”