Monday, 13 October 2008

South Central - The Owl of Minerva (2008)


The inherent problem with being described as dance-rock crossover is that it immediately conjures up images of Bodyrockers and the travesty that was 'I Like The Way You Move' rather than the heady pilled-up heights of Klaxons or Happy Mondays or the Stone Roses. With indie going through this fusion renaissance of rave with indie guitars and crashing mood-heightening synths, enter South Central, shrouded in mystery, dressed in ominous black hoodies, a 2 man DJ/production team with their own 5 man band to shake things up. 'The Owls of Minerva' is a collection of their records and releases thusfar previously never available on CD and MP3, preceding a 2009 full length debut proper and it's fast-paced relentless stuff, more dance than rock, more electronic than distorted and largely instrumental.

There is an unusual mix of light and dark on here, from fist-pumping unifying rallying calls to abrasive breakneck dark house complete with evil sunths and scary vocoders. The spirit of rock and indie is prescient in each song and the twisted electronics create a furious pulse for the beats to flagellate over. 'Nothing Can Go Wrong' is Kasabian let loose in Pasha, while 'Revolution' is more akin to Charlatans meeting French dance maestros Justice in a seedy after-hours club, shovelling speed and disappearing into the night to indulge in nocturnal nastiness. Highlight is the creepy, 80s horror of 'Dolls' a nightmare of Chucky-esque proportions over the top of a heavily distorted guitar and woofer-decimating bass while evil strings brood over the top.

Who are these mystery producers? Like Daft Punk before them, they have sealed the indie-dance crossover, opening for the likes of Does it offend you, yeah? and remixing the Klaxons, while remaining out of the limelight and in the studio dreaming up these euphoric nightmare visions of dystopia. It'll be interesting to see how they go on to release a full-length that relies on the ability to exist as an entire body of work and not a collection of songs. In the meantime, this is more than adequate a display of their abilities and sensibilities.

South Centralspace

Funny video for 'Castle of Heroes' (containing rudity and nudity therefore NSFW)

1 comment:

South said...
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