Modular’s impressive production line reveals another freshly minted electronic act from Australia, this time in the shape of a Sydney duo wearing their influences liberally on their sleeves for maximum enjoyment.
In this case it means their collection of New Order albums (Republic, specifically) while thumbing through a collection of late 1980s piano riffs, mostly of the early house variety. This underpins the call to arms that is Castles In The Air, reaching the heady heights a minute and a half in with its athletic keyboard writing.
Bag Raiders are much more than mere pastiche, mind, and their opening trio of heavyweights reveals their talent for lyrical couplets and harmonies that do the trick just as well on daytime radio as they do in a club. In this respect they prove themselves to be the Aussie equivalent of Fenech-Soler, the sort of act that would give any festival a welcome shot in the arm.
Shooting Star, their biggest single hit to date, combines wistfulness and euphoria in equal measure for a memorable pop song, a technique Bag Raiders repeat to good effect on closing track Way Back Home. The knack for a hook runs as far as Snake Charmer, an instrumental that really shouldn’t work with its combination of flute, percussion and a loosely funky beat, but try listening without tapping your foot and you will find it very difficult.
The inevitable dip in tempo comes with So Demanding, the obligatory down tempo track at first glance, but here the Bag Raiders sound more like Chromeo, and don’t forget to provide the listener with a catchy hook to hang their coat on half way through.
There are moments where the songwriting dips, but these are amply compensated by the application of the full bodied piano riffs. Not Over is a prime example, repeating its defiant chorus rather than looking for anything deeper. When you’re on a dancefloor, that’s often all you need.
Bag Raiders, then, stand guilty of looking backwards for their pop and dance music inspiration. Happily they also stand guilty of having a good time, writing a catchy tune or five, and making us all want to dance into Friday night. Good times.