On their third long-player, Detroit-spawned indie-dance four-piece Thunderbirds Are Now! manage to stimulate thoughts of a dozen or more similarly stylised bands, yet also maintain a consistency from song to song that sets the group apart from these peers in such a way that any plagiarism can ultimately be overlooked. Do your dancing shoes care that a particular beat was as good as previously heard on this that or the other record? No, they don’t – they just want to get down to Make History.
The Les Savy Fav influence that bounced around their previous long-player, Justamustache, remains, but Make History is as shaped by its producer as it is by its makers’ collective tastes. John Schmersal, formerly of Brainiac and currently of Enon, captures the band’s live energy fantastically well – from opener ‘Panthers In Crime’ onwards, he guides the still-young group down deliciously decadent alleyways of instantaneous aural candy; each and every time a song reaches the minute-in mark, it has successfully bored its way into your brain, and there’s nothing any grey matter can do to cease the shaking of your behind.
The sole criticism that’s apparent is one that so-slightly soured this album’s immediate predecessor: the band’s formula does become a little repetitive, and every so often a heard-it-before echo irritates a little too much; longevity wise, it’s unlikely you’ll be digging this out for anything other than a party. Still, the band’s execution of upbeat, organ-embellished pop-rocking dance music is second to none: standouts like ‘Why We War’ and ‘The Veil Comes Down’ mix thought-provoking lyricism – if you let them, these words will deepen and enrich the experience – with insistent beats and neat riffs.
Make History is an accomplished album from a regularly underrated band. That Thunderbirds Are Now! are occasionally overlooked for critical acclaim is a result of their sleeve displays, but given the right environment – preferably one with disco lights on the ceiling – these songs are very welcome indeed.
7Mike Diver's Score