Who Made Who - The Plot

Toast it with a glass of house and be on your way.

The title track to this Danish trio’s second outing is a confusing mix to say the least. Elements of Josh Homme’s soft croon rides atop spine scratching guitars, but Jeppe Kjellberg vocal is two paces wide of this macho-man when fellow vocalist Tomas Hoffding takes over with his ridiculous pomp falsetto for a purely pop refrain.

A mangled edge of Kraftwerk filters through their opener ‘TV Friend’ together with its strangely Stravinskian take on the woodwind intro. The German group is mainly to be found in the narrative style of vocal where the lines veer away from conventional rhyme, “Change the channel for a fooless gain,” and such like. This reaches disorientating heights of jazz at around the four-minute marker and acts as a nice little divergence from the otherwise euro-dance electronic basics.

Both of the aforementioned would be a whole lot more digestible were it not for the overly cautious take on promo-giving. They feel it necessary to have a French lady speak over the tracks, quite frequently to the detriment of the vocal, to declare “it’s the new whomadewho album, please do not copy.” Full credit, she sexily drawls, but at intervals of every 90 seconds, it really does the trick of putting this reviewer off listening to them entirely, let alone dreaming of sharing the experience.

Technical whinge over with, a jumpy bass of ‘Trickster’ bounds in and all the signs of a build up are there – meddling disorderly bleeps and scaling guitars chime in with the vocals. The trouble being that, after this growth, there seems no evolution to the song, no conclusive drive towards oblivion, rather it merely wittles down into a sparser funk beat. This is refined through ‘Keep Me In My Plane’ a slinkier effort with metronome sharp drum stabs: whereas things are brought to a much dreamier landscape in ‘Ode To Joy’ and its repeating, space-giving synths.

Dabbling with Soulwax, it would seem, does them the world of good, as ‘Raveo’ testifies, sitting back and letting the layers of bass and electronic tomfoolery do all the talking. By being a little less clever, adding fewer ingredients and indulging in the simplest forms of their music, they’re forging a more rewarding path. ‘Cyborg’ grows from a relatively bizarre lua into a bass chugging mantra, blessed by a fat dollop of 1960s blues-rock.

Where the group has managed to weld elements of their tracks – the funk licking bass, occasionally garage-produced guitar, and rather blunt phrasing – it allows a sense of buoyancy to ‘The Plot’. But equally there isn’t really enough of a ‘tune’ stitched into an otherwise ripe base. It seems quite easy to imagine this album getting played in the minimalist wine bars Europe-wide. So, despite some devilishly clever touches, you’re less likely get lost in the folding swells of Who Made Who, more to toast it with a glass of house and be on your way.

Tags: Who Made Who, Reviews, Album Reviews

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