Good things are worth waiting for.
Despite forming four years ago while studying at Edinburgh Art School, this is the band’s first full-length release. A splattering of striking singles and impressive live-outings have certainly built expectations, with the London four-piece consistent regulars on ‘One To Watch’ lists.
And they don’t disappoint. Their sound has a uniqueness to it that is sadly lacking in so many of their contemporaries. They are able to seamlessly fuse warm electronica, distinctive vocals and guitars that can only be described as mariachi in intent.
Hail Bop, the album’s first track proper, gives a glimpse into the band’s world. Swooning guitar lines and stacked harmonies help bring some soul to this futuristic-sounding ambient landscape. This is followed by Default, the album’s lead single and one of its strongest offerings. Sounding one part mad and one part brilliant, it’s the type of track that only improves upon further listening, with its modulated chorus giving it a persuasive twist. In an ideal world this would be Number 1.
Firewater sends the band off in yet another change of direction, with a sound that’s about as conventional as Django Django are ever likely to be. But any fears that they have settled for the middle of the road are quickly dispelled, with Waveforms’ basic rhythm contrasting beautifully with singer Vincent Neff’s soaring vocals.
Love’s Dart proves an exemplar in subtlety and leads perfectly into the double whammy of stalwart tracks Wor and Storm. While both tracks have been around for a while (the latter was released as a single back in 2009), it would have been truly criminal not to include them on the band’s crowning achievement to date. The former begins as if heralding the outbreak of World War Three, with its razor sharp guitar lines leading the listener through a myriad of twisting lyrics. Storm, the ying to Wor’s yang, sees the band at their most synchronised, as vocals, guitars and drums whirl competitively while in complicit unison. Silver Rays rounds off the album in fitting fashion and a salute to a job well done – with a healthy dose of synths and melody.
With 2012 shaping up as a great year for albums, Django Django’s offering will be able to hold its head high in any company. It sounds like the soundtrack to the best Spaghetti Western never written – and in the outlandish world of this band, it wouldn’t be surprising if that was what they were aiming for.