With their 2004 debut album You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine, the Canadian duo offered an alternative version of guitar music that broke away from the retro fantasies of their garage rock peers in favour of raw and danceable disco-punk. Then, just as they were being heralded as the two horseman of a new musical dawn they split; vanishing almost as quickly as they had arrived.
In their absence their reputation only grew and the announcement that the pair planned to reform for a series of shows this Autumn was greeted with a level of anticipation usually reserved for a post-festival shower. Unfortunately The Physical World is a far cry from their highly-rated debut. Only the title track succeeds in replicating the brash, bold energy of its predecessor. For a band who always seemed so committed to pushing their sound forward in a cloud of thundering basslines and churning guitar riffs, nods to Kurt Cobain and Bruce Springsteen seem like a curious act of regression; spiralling inwards rather than grabbing you by the throat and hurling you onto the dancefloor.
[Max Sefton – @MaxSefton]