[CD Review] Late of the Pier, 'Fantasy Black Channel' (Astralwerks)

Coming into their full-length debut with a full head of steam—thanks in part to a series of infectious singles—British four-piece Late of the Pier crash the party, ready to unleash their unflinching electronic sound upon the masses.

Most of the album consists of bizarre sounds that the band craft into transcendent, dance-inducing music with their delicate, indie-electronic hands. Held together by Samuel Eastgate’s snarky, delightfully limey vocals, Fantasy Black Channel hardly misses a beat throughout its 12 songs. The album is damn-near-perfect indie-electronic bliss, suffering only a few hiccups with some slower, bloated songs. The initial, throbbing drumbeats of “Bathroom Gurgle”—the band’s closing opus—are irresistibly cocky, full of the bravado a band usually find in their later albums.

At its best, Fantasy Black Channel is a menacing aural journey, complete with manipulative drumbeats and spacey, futuristic synths. It leaves listeners both exhausted and enthralled. In the song “Heartbeat,” Eastgate croons, “Pineapple pieces in brine/Fucking around with your mind,” revealing the album’s true meaning. Pineapple in brine would, indeed, fuck with my mind—right after Fantasy Black Channel completely blows it.

 
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