wears the trousers magazine


music go music: expressions (2009)
October 6, 2009, 9:01 am
Filed under: album, mp3, review | Tags: , , ,

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Music Go Music
Expressions ••••
Secretly Canadian

The nom de rocks adopted by Music Go Music’s three core members offer an indication of the group’s part camp, part austere aesthetics. Kamer Maza, TORG and Gala Bell started out as a trio, but have recently added a number of equally theatrically named recruits to their ranks (Abi Gold, Lilith Fayre, A.S. and Haavik), presumably to help maintain their ostentatious, many-layered arrangements during live shows, which are happening in abundance now they’ve begun supporting Franz Ferdinand on their latest UK tour. The dates come just in time to showcase this debut, a fun-filled future classic that looks set to be a party favourite throughout the last months of the decade, a perfect antidote to the deluge of Christmas albums and winter chills.

Music Go Music do melodrama with a finesse not seen or heard since the ’70s, an era that’s obviously close to their hearts; think ABBA and ELO, but updated and reinvented by a bunch of cool kids equipped with supersonic instruments and solid-gold songwriting prowess. Retro in influence but with all the fresh, cutting energy of modern maestros, Expressions is a swirling and ornate near-masterpiece combining high-end pop, disco, heavy rock, funk, electro and a steady score of honky-tonk piano. Don’t be fooled by leading lady Gala Bell’s slender, siren-like beauty – she’s as gifted as she is charismatic. With Debbie Harry’s sultry cool and Karen Carpenter’s rich, melodic tones, she manages to rein in Music Go Music’s epic songs with a vocal efficacy to match.

Standout number ‘Light Of Love’ rings out with Bell’s soaring, lush soprano pull, quickly descending into a joyously unashamed ABBA homage complete with chunky piano chords and rhythmic guitars. ‘Reach Out’ abounds with dramatic, stadium-sized heavy rock, combining distortion-slicked guitar solos with ‘Saturday Night Fever’-era keyboards and heavy funk drills. But Expressions is more than just screaming good fun; the band cross the tongue-in-cheek theatrics of songs like ‘Explorers Of The Heart’ and ‘Love, Violent Love’ with a darker, more sensual pressure exploded through their lyrics, a clever balance of faux angst and heartfelt urgency. ‘Thousand Crazy Nights’ reminds that even though it may sound fun, disco, in its own glittery way, is glam rock’s bohemian cousin and can be just as debauched and opulent when given free rein.

Practically writhing with lipgloss raunch, ‘Warm In The Shadows’ is the perfect disco initiation number, capturing the darkest corners of strobe-lit nightclubs and compelling them into a nine-minute orgasm of rhythmic gyrations and vibrating synths, before the Carpenters-like post-coital piano pop of ‘Goodbye, Everybody’ waves them out. It’s only then that the realisation really strikes home; that Music Go Music are undoubtedly cheesy and fun, but they’re never fluffy. Each layer – from the pattering drums, rock guitars and electro keyboard modulations to funk basslines and harmonised vocals – is individually perfect, but scored together to exquisitely complimentary effect. Full of high camp and equal cool, this collection of vibrant, extravagant numbers practically demands that you slink into some sexy retro disco wear, glitter up and express yourself on the dancefloor.

Charlotte Richardson Andrews
Available on import only; www.myspace.com/musicgomusic

FREE MP3: Music Go Music, ‘Warm In The Shadows’ [via Stereogum]

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[…] Taxi! – Still Standing At Your Back Door [3.5/5; interview] 62 Music Go Music – Expressions [4/5] 61 Shannon Wright – Honeybee Girls […]

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