Review of Burn Your Own Church Album by Black Strobe

Black Strobe
Burn Your Own Church
Album Review

Black Strobe Burn Your Own Church Album

The implied claim in the album blurb that this mixing "of the worlds of dance music and rock music" is some sort of dangerous and pioneering experiment may have stood up a couple of years ago, but its modest revival, fronted by the commercial successes of The Knife, Digitalism and positively electronic Daft Punk day at Wireless, would have this band believe that their first LP is just hamster in the microwave stuff.

However even if the competition will cast some shadows on Black Strobe's album, listening to the dark pulsing of opener 'Brenn Di Ega Kjerke', it plays like a wounded soldier who has just raised his head to reveal a face of utter sadistic menace; it quickly seems laughable that this lot would bow to Venitian masks and stupid helmets, and whether it's the success of their crafted direct sound or real determination that comes through on the record, you become convinced that they are a force to be reckoned with. The fusion of heavy rock and dance arrives as promised on 'You Should Be' as an intensely concentrated build up of thrashing guitars surrounded by a catchy electro hook.

At the same time though, there is a fantastic contradiction; like Freddie Mercury raising his fist defiantly with triumph and aggression, war is played out like theatre. Burn Your Own Church is simultaneously an industrial apocalypse and a wild glamorous showpiece. Nowhere better on this album is it displayed than 'I'm a Man', an assertion of male-supremacy as obviously dirty, suggestive and pretentious as Electric Six. Making an even more confounding event out of the whole thing is the closing track - 'Crave For Speed' - an aptly named piano ballad that quickly drifts in death metal.and then back again, united only by the distinctive Kele of Bloc Party-esque sobriety in the vocals. Epic stuff.

Jamie Curtis

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