Archie Bronson Outfit - Coconut (Domino)
Natalie Salvo | Sunday, 11 April 2010
Archie Bronson Outfit have a lovely bunch of coconuts. Or if we're to be really pedantic, they have one really nice one in the form of their third album named after the refreshing, tropical fruit. Like its namesake, the group's newest record is full of sweet goodness and is absolutely invigorating.
Coconut is produced by DFA Record's Tim Goldsworthy (LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture) and boasts ten songs that sound as American as apple pie; not bad for three lads from Bath via London. Musically it seems to sit somewhere between Sonic Youth's experimental finery; Iggy's brand of raw power; and the kind of layered industrial noise we associate with Martin Hannett and his best work twiddling knobs for Joy Division.
'Magnetic Warrior' is fuzzy guitar rock a few stones removed from Yo La Tengo. A grittier version than you would expect from the American collective, this one plugs angst while delivering a special announcement requesting that you do not let yourself fall apart. Instead it seems to have the opposite effect, making you lose yourself through the music.
The first single, 'Shark's Tooth' has "dance anthem" stamped all over it and the following, 'Hoola' is equally catchy but from the other side of the tracks. 'You Have a Right To a Mountain Life' is a scary offering as it blends instrumental tribal beats with an eerie banshee screaming. Basically, it's what you'd expect from someone that has been locked up in a haunted castle for centuries after succumbing to madness with only spirits and ghastly creatures as their sole company.
Coconut is far too beat-filled to be rock and has too many guitar riffs to be classified strictly dance. Its clear strength is that it traverses a good mix of these musical styles and is certainly on par with the likes of Franz Ferdinand, who have also been successful in dabbling with the dance-meets-rock musical game. Archie Bronson Outfit have delivered a solid effort of songs that are so fresh and fun you could see these featuring in a forthcoming episode of Skins and adding that extra bit of pixie dust to the proceedings.
From visceral psychedelia to anthemic beats and quieter reflection, Coconut brims with all the goods and that's not to mention the dazzling, rainbow album cover. Those Archie lads really do have a lovely bunch of coconuts in their musical arsenal.