Imagining the Arcade Fire of 2005 announcing their new single with an obscene, tacky breakfast cereal called Creature Comfort, and promoting their new album with a Twitter account bordering on parody seems near unbelievable.
They’re a completely different band now though, and their dive into ridiculousness is nothing if not entertaining. After all, the title track from new album ‘Everything Now’ starts with a piano line that sounds like an ABBA tribute.
‘Creature Comfort’ doesn’t dial down the bonkers levels one jot. Its first ten seconds feels like stumbling into a thudding nightclub by accident, before Win Butler yells his manifesto atop of erratic synths, lines repeated back at him by even more hyperactive counterpart Regine Chassagne.
Creating a new album campaign that playfully skirts around full-blown capitalism - the band are about to embark on a world tour they’ve labelled the ‘Infinite Content’ tour - doesn’t mean the music’s subject matter has become vapid, though, even if there are less-than-subtle, knowing nods back to their death-obsessed debut album ‘Funeral’: the track’s second verse reads: “Assisted suicide / She dreams about dying all the time / She told me she came so close / Filled up the bathtub and put on our first record.”
Arcade Fire are a fundamentally new band in 2017, and though it’s hard to connect the likes of ‘Creature Comfort’ with the band who wrote ‘Wake Up’ et al, the confidence with which they’re creating a new world for themselves is invigorating and thoroughly entertaining.