While the term maverick can’t quite be applied to this youthful duo from Washington State, Strange We Should Meet Here is nevertheless an entertaining smorgasbord of contemporary influences – that Daniel Anderson and Michael Harris a.k.a. Idiot Pilot have earned comparisons to Deftones and Radiohead is wrong, but there’s no doubting their aspirations to meet their obvious influences’ achievements.
These songs crackle and fizz, like your favourite indie-rock band plugged straight into a short-circuiting amplifier; they peak and trough, coo and scream, bleep and bludgeon. They’re short of patience and have too many ideas to ever successfully squeeze into a four-minute time span. See: ‘A Day In The Life Of A Pool Shark’. The band’s latest single is a confusing piece, possessing both the chattering beats of a Squarepusher-biting act and the annoying screamo vocals of the thousandth Glassjaw clone this month; bizarrely, when latched to a My Bloody Valentine-proportioned wall of fuzz-saturated sound, the song works. And that’s how Strange We Should Meet Here continues – its core components clash awkwardly against each other, sparks flying left right and centre, but somehow the final products are rarely less than likeable. They’re never the groundbreaking compositions that the PR hyperbole would like to claim they are, but this is a decent debut, full of promise and demonstrating a rich seam of invention ready to be fully tapped into.
Sometimes the duo veer into territories they obviously can’t navigate easily – the Underworld-like ‘Les Lumieres’ falls some way short of the thumping dancefloor anthem its makers so clearly wanted – but when their concentration is accurately focused – the atmospherically trip-hopping ‘Moerae (The Locust)’ or ‘The Violent Tango’ with its crunching riffs and cricket-click beats – the pair make a fine racket indeed.
For now, we’ll reserve absolute judgment, but if Idiot Pilot take their best ideas here and develop them for album number two, they might just be onto something magnificently original.
6Mike Diver's Score