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Museum Of Love


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Let’s take a moment to consider the lot of the perennially overlooked disco drummer: the Earl Youngs and Keith Forseys and Tony Thompsons of the world, men often mistaken for machines whose heartbeat rhythm defined the sound of a generation; the driving force behind tracks still heard and loved by millions in clubs the world over every weekend, but musical legends most people couldn’t tell by sight from Adam. These guys’ closest contemporary counterpart, Pat Mahoney, is somewhat more recognisable, especially to those lucky enough to have caught him playing live with LCD Soundsystem: who could forget, after all, the sight of this bearded beanpole in his tiny flesh-coloured short shorts, showering his kit in sweat, all four limbs pumping manically like production line workers trying to hit their bonus target before clocking off time? In the three years since LCD’s big farewell, Mahoney has been busy adding more strings to his bow and now, with the release of Museum Of Love, he has proven himself to be just as competent at the front of the stage as at the back. The eponymous debut from the duo of Mahoney and Dennis McNany (AKA Jee Day) features the drummer on synthesizers and lead vocals (as well as percussion, naturally), and whilst the rhythms are on the whole decidedly less frantic than the beat-heavy blow-outs his previous band were famous for, he certainly makes his presence felt with a surprisingly rich croon that lands somewhere between recent David Byrne and heartthrob-era Scott Walker. That voice dominates much of Museum Of Love, snaking around the twisted acid bass-line of first single “Down South”, booming like the bombshell chords that litter the lovely, Eno-esque “Fathers” and adding just the right balance of weight and wit to sassy, soulful closer “And All The Winners (Fuck You Buddy)”, but it’s McNany – who handled the lion’s share of song-writing and production duties – that really deserves the pat on the back. If the shuffling grooves and ping-ponging bass-lines of the more club-friendly “In Infancy” and “The Who’s Who Of Who Cares” (below) seem like pretty standard DFA fare (that is to say, of the same high quality as his previous singles for the label), elsewhere McNany manages the tricky task of pulling a tick-list of James Murphy-approved influences together into a coherent whole with a crate-digger’s diligence and the dexterity of a big room DJ: Depeche Mode-esque electro pop on “Learned Helplessness In Rats (Disco Drummer)”, slowly percolating Komische throb on “Monotronic“, twitching psychedelic Kraut-funk on “The Large Glass”. With both members so in tune with the DFA ethos – and with each other – it’s clear Mahoney’s beat connection isn’t the only thing Museum Of Love and LCD Soundsystem have in common; on the basis of this great debut it seems the latter’s legacy is in safe hands.
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Museum of Love is out now via DFA Records
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About foamhands

My name is Michael Dix; I'm a decade or so past being down with the kids, but to me new music never gets old. Apparently I like music that sounds like faulty kitchen appliances and ritual slaughter; really I just like what I like, whether that happens to be indie, pop, punk, hip hop, metal, electronica, Afrobeat or jazz. Follow me on Twitter @FoamHandsBlog to receive notifications of new posts and the occasional random brain-fart, and please share links wherever you can. Enjoy!

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