I’ve been a forthright supporter of random drug testing in music for years as the world has turned a blind eye, but perhaps this record will force a change of opinion on the subject. So great is the progress that Electrelane have made in the past three years that it brings to mind images of a yellow-eyed Ben Johnson and Godzilla-like CJ Hunter as the band seem to have transformed themselves from playing forgettable organ ditties to running the musical equivalent of the four- second mile.
Electrelane retain the frame of their former selves; they are still an all-girl, organ based 4-piece from Brighton but it’s the performance in both song writing and musicianship that really differs. Oh, and some guy called Steve Albini is twiddling the nobs for them. Built on a customary seedy organ melody in ‘The Valleys’ is a fantastic choral arrangement whilst ‘Take The Bit Between Your Teeth’ carries a strong whiff of an apprenticeship served under girly Britpop. In fact there is a very British feel to the record, as the folky lo-fi melody of ‘Enter Laughing’ provides a footnote for Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and The Delgados. On ‘Love Builds Up’, the band even take the somewhat arrogant liberty of a prog keyboard solo, akin to a sprinter celebrating before crossing the finish line. Luckily Electrelane don’t trip up, ending the album with a cute piano-based instrumental.
Whatever pills Electrelane have been taking they’ve certainly done the job, but one good record won’t stop me reporting this to the authorities.