Album Reviews

Shitdisco – Kingdom Of Fear

(Fierce Panda) UK release date: 16 April 2007

Say what you like, but a name like Shitdisco (pronounced ‘Shhhdisco’, presumably for radio types), quite apart from making you laugh, immediately arouses curiosity in the band and their music. Is their moniker a pun, or do they really promise a substandard night out? Certainly they have a sense of humour. But has this been compromised so they can hitch a ride on the Klaxons‘ smiley faced lapels?

Thankfully not. Rather than make bad dance music, Shitdisco make music to dance to badly, with hedonistic beats, grubby bass lines, and vocals that veer from the anthemic (Dream Of Infinity) to the approximate (the excellent I Know Kung Fu), delivering lyrical vignettes in the process. It’s a style of music that takes you out on the town with the notion of getting the listener steamingly intoxicated.

And, to a point, it works, with a heady brew of late 1970s punk, 1980s rave and more than a dash of New York garage, quite an achievement for a band born and bred in Glasgow. Not that they forsake their British roots, mind, and Disco Blood offers the quaint notion that “she’s coming round for tea”. Tracks like Lover Of Others even find vocalist Joel Stone aping David Bowie vocalisms – but this coincides as the only track where the band fall short.

Elsewhere there’s a strong hint of the warehouse rave party, with the community dance feel of 72 Virgins, Stone excitedly planning to “take you all with me”. Echoes of the DFA production style come to the surface here, though these are kept in check lest they become too derivative.

There’s a nod, too, in the direction of fellow city dwellers Franz Ferdinand, who wouldn’t turn their noses up at the deadpan chorus of OK, a catchy groover.

But the comparison with their sometime mates the Klaxons is telling – and Shitdisco prove to be much more than a new rave categorization. Only in the refrain of the closing track do the bands sound remotely similar – elsewhere this Glasgow trio offer more humour, more outright partying and even more of a groove.

Another sums up the whole philosophy, “another one before we leave” turning into another, and another, and another, and another, Stone’s electronic guitar whooshing back the shots in response. Sure enough we all collapse in a heap at the end, but it’s been a groovy forty five minutes. Now for another!

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Shitdisco + Simple Kid + Friendly Fires @ 229, London
Shitdisco – Kingdom Of Fear