Saturday, July 19, 2008
"Baby in this universe / You're gonna be swept away" promises the opening lines of TSOMM's re-released EP, and yes, they deliver on this premise. Now with 10 tracks and clocking in at 42 minutes, including live tracks from their apparently all-conquering 2007 Falls Festival show, the Hobartian duo are back, buying time until the release of their debut album due in December. Not only are they doing that, but they've also made a wholly worthwhile release that anyone who owns the original won't feel shafted for buying.
For the last twelve months TSOMM have been little brother to the big three electronic acts ruling the charts, getting mad props from various French producers and selling out The Forum, and though this extended EP won't put them on equal footing, it does show that they aren't far behind. Full of driving guitars, soaring synths and smoothly surfed dynamic shifts, the band seem more intent on hyping crowds (which anyone who's seem them live can attest they can do), exploring analogue synth sounds artfully and using a vocoder with admirable restraint. The way they construct the songs is where TSOMM really kick into gear, having a great intuition for when to let grooves ride and when to cut everything away before bringing it back times ten. Obviously in debt to French house and sounding a bit M83, a little Human League and well-matched to be supporting The Presets on their current tour, perhaps they don't really add anything to the genre but it is rare to find charisma, energy and a non-exclusive love of music attached to a band in this day and age and TSOMM are certainly one of those few.
This still sounds like a debut EP though a world-class one and the next twelve months will be fascinating to watch based on the contents here. Opening track Easy has never sounded better, Live All Night is some of the best driving music this side of any 90s Stereolab release, For You is gorgeously warm and shows they can really sing, while the live Falls Festival tracks live up to the hype. The remixes aren't scintillating but do show that the lads are moving in bigger and bigger circles, and with no shortage of ideas, expect little brother to grow up fast.