Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure
It begins ominously with an intense throbbing pulse, gradually approaching rotor blades. Simian Mobile Disco hold their fire, inviting the tension to build and build until, finally, the unmistakable tones of the ubiquitous Gruff Rhys prick the bubble and bring relief. Cream Dream represents a fairly gentle entry to the album and is more akin to a NeonNeon outtake than classic SMD. Why? The question mark hanging over my head is quickly dissipated, however, by the immense presence of recent single Audacity of Huge which stomps all over the house, kicking over furniture and terrifying the cat. Surely a candidate for tune of the year and a real statement of intent for the album; temporary it may be but there’s no doubting that pleasure is the key.
I can’t help but love this band; they set themselves apart from the chasing pack through their complete and utter failure to take themselves too seriously. They are patently having a blast and the infectious sense of fun is impossible to deny. Feeling cynical? Well listen sunshine, fire up this sucker and I may dance like Felipe Massa doing a lobotomised moonwalk but I do dance and that’s not something that happens every day in these parts. I challenge anyone with a heart and soul to turn their nose up at the bold, in ya face performance of Beth Ditto as she sparkles like a resurrected 80s diva all over Cruel Intentions and its classic NY House beats. Stone cold sexy, she’s in her element with the mobile disco.
Off The Map continues the party and is like a Morales mix of the greatest tune that Kraftwerk never wrote. You get the impression that SMD are living the ultimate DJ dream here – so there’s not enough decent tracks to play, well why not get out there and make them yourself. This is the sort of supply chain that Tesco would kill for. So far, so good but this is a tough pace to maintain and the album misses out on classic status as it gradually tails off a bit in the second half. Telepathe arrives to save the day though and does a neat Kim Wilde impression on closing track Pinball eases us back out of the Simian’s world in much the same way as Gruff eased us in. It ain’t perfect but there won’t be many better pop albums released this year and, God knows, a temporary pleasure is better than no pleasure at all.