Micachu and the Shapes - Never

By this stage, the record truly is the sound of a C21st Workers Playtime and you can see what they got from hanging out with Matthew Herbert, that’s for sure.

 

http://www.roughtraderecords.com http://www.konkurrent.nl

We like Micachu: we like their waspishness and attitude and intelligence; elements which, frankly, wash away any derogatory remarks about them being up their own arse. Like scrabbling through a box of at a jumble sale, listening to their records is a messy, disorganised and sometimes puzzling experience but it’s always fun. And that’s what it should be all about.

As ever their LP is a scrambled trip: a glorious jumble of noises and beats that somehow create a very enjoyable whole. It starts as it means to go on with Easy - a stomp through a back alley full of rubbish, and pardon me, but is that a hoover being switched off seconds before the end? Never is a collection of noises that somehow takes form as a very short song, and Waste is just a great bit of music: in amongst the strumming and the stomping, Levi’s voice starts to sound like a tannoy message in a factory. Slick is anything but; it’s a squelchy and wobbly thing that attempts to tell us something or other – you can hear in the vocals that there’s an effort at communication but I can’t suss it: but fine. It wobbles along in its own world and I’m happy with that. OK attempts to be a sort of song too - there is a melody line, but it does sound like they’re singing from a laboratory or a processing plant. By this stage, the record truly is the sound of a C21st Workers Playtime and you can see what they got from hanging out with Matthew Herbert, that’s for sure.

Low Dogg is an older track – off their last live LP - but this version is put through another, poppier mincer than previously. Holiday is brilliant, some kind of queasy surf song, an abomination sung in the bath, all this and more. What else? Well, Heaven starts to remind me of the Swell Maps’ infantile vibe, that is, if they’d ever learnt how to turn on a synth and Glamour turns out to be a hilarious mix of phone naughtiness and a weird non-pop. The first bit of quiet we get from all this punk mummery is the introspection of the two tracks known as Top Floor and Fall; both very muted affairs when compared to their siblings with the latter turning into some kind of soundtrack from a 1930s film. This quiet is carried on in parts by Nothing, which starts like a bedroom jam by a bunch of 10 year olds but becomes some kind of lament with hummed vox to back it up. It’s got a gloopy, underwater feel that reminds me, for no reason at all, of Robyn Hitchcock: maybe it reminds me of Vegetable Friend, who knows? Finally Nowhere is a foot to the floor charge, a miniature steam train running out of control through the herbaceous borders of your local municipal park.

We love this record: think it’s triumphant even. Now and again you wish they’d do something like cover Chic, or Rose Royce it’d be nuts.