Thursday, May 21, 2009

Empire Of The Sun

It seems like MGMT is going to be one of those bands, like Nirvana in 1991 or Air in 1998, that every other remotely similar band is going to be compared to. Kind of inevitable really, and it makes sense - the easiest way to describe just about every album this year is to use the formula MGMT + _____. Merriweather Post Pavilion? MGMT + sheets of acid and some African tribal recordings. Veckatimest? MGMT + Fleet Foxes and merry-go-round music. Give me long enough and I could probably connect the dots between MGMT and Rick Ross. It's fucking cake, really.

But that's exactly the problem, because we've now reached the point where MGMT take up way more space than they actually deserve to. Case in point: Empire of the Sun, who are a really good electropop duo from Australia. They happen to have a few songs that sound similar to something I could see MGMT doing. The rough equation would be something like MGMT + "Discovery"-era Daft Punk and The Cure at half-speed - in other words, a musical combination at least as interesting as MGMT themselves. Yes, they're clearly digging in the same 80s backyard, and yes, you could throw "We Are The People" on Oracular Spectacular and I probably wouldn't even notice. I'm alright with not all music being subjectively "new" - it just has to work. And though this rant has said nothing about the actual music they make, I think you'll agree that the Mediterrean-yacht cool that Empire of the Sun adds to the equation happens to work pretty well.

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3 comments:

Brynna said...

I appreciate the rant - I played that Passion Pit album for someone and the first comment was "they sound like MGMT." Fucking A. Hot Chip doesn't get enough cred either, they've been on the circuit for years. Not to mention if you take the electronic stuff and cross it with the 80s rock riffs of late, MGMT pretty much always comes out.

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nevercryshitwolf said...

These guys had a band prior to this called The Sleepy Jackson which was pretty good. Some of it sounded like The Beatles.