Single review: Galantis – ‘No Money’

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Just give Galantis your 99p and sing your overdraft out.

Originally published in The Edge

Christian Karlsson and Linus Eklöw are no strangers to breakout pop success, adding to their personal hit counts (respective examples include ‘Toxic’ and ‘I Love It’) in 2015 with two UK top 10 singles in ‘Runaway (U & I)’ and ‘Peanut Butter Jelly’ that summoned their Galantis brand of melodic house-pop into the mainstream conscience. Almost exclusively, it uses a formula whereby an endless stream of anonymous vocalists chant pent-up, hollow emotions over euphoric synth explosivity in lieu of conventional choruses. When elaborated over the course of a 49 minute Pharmacy appointment, this concoction becomes rather sickly, and their tracks are easily divided between happy and sad camps.

‘No Money,’ their latest palatable microdose, premiered at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival during one of their terrifyingly acrobatic DJ sets and attempts to smudge those frontiers together. On the lyrical front, it’s perhaps too literal, as “I wanna run away / Anywhere out this place” and “Spread it like peanut butter jelly / Do it like I owe you some money” become a hyperactive lovechild of “I ain’t giving you a dollar / This time I ain’t gonna run away.” The vocals, coming from a belligerent and penniless youthful chanter sure to resonate with students around the land, are an irritatingly repetitive focal point, distorted gently towards 15-second flurries of percussion that escalate to the even more obvious period of flail-spurring and alleviation of pressure to allow the verse to be repeated. Continue reading “Single review: Galantis – ‘No Money’”

Album review: Knife Party – Abandon Ship

Originally published in The Broadie

Although my sarcastic and weary demeanour may tend to convey otherwise, I don’t try to intentionally dismember what I review. Perhaps I may sit down at my desk and brace myself for an onslaught of mediocrity, an instinct that usually serves well through the likes of Miley Cyrus’ magnum opus Bangerz. Knife Party triggers this radar like a machete at airport security, but each time I take a listen to their noises I find myself pleasantly surprised about how much I don’t despise them. The music is typically just as humane as the name suggests, with stabbing synths and heavy percussion, but Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen, the Australian duo who formed from the remnants of drum and bass ensemble Pendulum, have a perplexing knack of making it sound vaguely tolerable.

After a plethora of delays, debut album Abandon Ship has finally found the light of day, but alas, it’s immediately obvious that the pair shouldn’t have tried to spread out their inspiration, if you could so generously assign it that term, to a longer body of work than a four-track EP. Though the duo were keen to avoid having dubstep on the record, they’ve not strayed too far from their traditional ‘electro house’ stylings. Any exploration into new territories feels strained and disingenuous – almost as if their major label contract has shoehorned them into boxes more befitting of spoons and cake forks. Continue reading “Album review: Knife Party – Abandon Ship”