Django Django’s self titled release is a kitchen sink album.
They have tastes of so many genres it’s hard to wrap your brain around. Somehow though, these lads from Scotland have a method to their madness that keeps their sound from being a muddled mess and instead, they’ve made a modern masterpiece.
It’s sort of sounds as if Beck threw a backyard barbeque and invited Animal Collective, Franz Ferdinand, The Beach Boys and Talking Heads over to drink whiskey sours and write an album together. Maybe John Wayne came over too, I don’t know… and that’s exactly what I love the album, I don’t know. I can’t figure it all out, every time I listen to it I hear a new sound, a new layer, it’s just so gosh darn exciting.
What’s nice about Django Django is that they have what seems like a nothing-to-lose indie band attitude. I think when a group is working on releasing their first album there is a total freedom as to what the end result can be. There’s none of that second album pressure that causes so many bands to choke, or hold back, or conform. Django Django have really just gone for it. They’ve said fuck it, and everyone’s in the pool.
Life’s a Beach for example is a dreamy pop number, with all the handclapping and tambourine your heart desires. Airy back up “oohs and ahhs”, a steady bass line and simple drumming combine for some good clean American-sounding fun, but that all quickly changes when Skies Over Cairo kicks in with sounds from another hemisphere. The track opens with a distinctly Egyptian influenced synth line and a wooden block keeps the beat. You’re transported from 1970s America to ancient Egypt in 45 seconds. It’s really quite a feat that somehow they manage to combine a world of diverse sounds and decades of time and make it all sound like a cohesive body of work.
What I love about Django Django’s self titled debut is its calculated reckless abandon. It’s a whole mess of sounds without being messy. The boys are really onto something.