Posted by: Richard Frost | 16 Apr 2020

Simian Mobile Disco: Attack Decay Sustain Release album review

Logo for UK news website In The NewsOriginal publication date: May 2007
Outlet: In The News

In a nutshell…
Sassy acid take on electronica.

What’s it all about?
It’s fair to say that dance music has had a rocky few years. Remember the heady days of the 1990s when Primal Scream, Massive Attack and The Prodigy brought some hard-edged rock festival credibility to the genre? It all seems so very long ago.

High time, in fact, that dance began rebuilding itself from the bottom up. Right on cue, a host of background production teams from Justice to Pendulum are gradually taking centre stage. And at the vanguard of them all is Simian Mobile Disco who have finally jumped into the limelight with their debut LP.

Attack Decay Sustain Release is unashamedly a dance album. But it’s a dance album that deliberately turns its back on production sheen in favour of jaw-rattling beats. Once the hips are swinging, Simian Mobile Disco’s ten-track musical salvo sets to work on the ears with the sort of acid grooves and epic breakdowns that have been gathering dust in a cupboard since 1992.

Who’s it by
Simian Mobile Disco have had an eclectic route to the top by anybody’s standards. The story of electro fans James Ford and Jas Shaw starts with an indie band called Simian, which successfully crossed indie melodies with dance sensibilities. Although LP We Are Your Friends became a cult indie sensation, they were consistently overlooked by the mainstream. Eventually, the DJ duo began to focus more and more energy on their true passion – dance.

As word began to spread, the pair decided it was time to abandon Simian and turn to dance production full-time. It proved a wise career move – Simian Mobile Disco rapidly made their name as the dream ticket for indie bands seeking a dance makeover.

Finally, the pair decided it was time to escape the dingy production booth by unleashing their long-awaited debut LP. Attack Decay Sustain Release was born.

Cover of 2007 Simian Mobile Disco LP Attack Decay Sustain Release

As an example…
“If I had the money to go to a record store, I would…Go to that record store, steal some records, man. I’m telling you I’m broke, I’m telling you I’m broke, but I’m surviving, and I can cope. Yeah I’m a hustler baby, that’s what my daddy’s made me” – Hustler

Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys
It’s a sure-fire bet that anybody who’s anybody in the dance fraternity will jump on this album. Clubbers, DJs and critics will all find something to love, but the Grammys may prove a step too far. Mind you, if they keep on producing killer albums for the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons, they might scoop a few Grammys by association.

What the others say
“If you were one of those people complaining they couldn’t hear the ‘rave’ in new rave, Attack Decay Sustain Release should make you very happy” – Amazon.com

“The new tracks seem either rushed or cobbled together, Frankenstein monster-style” – Slant Magazine

So is it any good?
Attack Decay Sustain Release is the best name imaginable for this album. You see, it’s not so much a title as a mission statement.

Each track takes no prisoners, kicking off with an all-out attack on the listener, as crunching beats remorselessly assault the senses. Song after song grabs hold of your eardrum and mercilessly pounds away until decay sets in. As your nerves gradually recover, Simian Mobile Disco effortlessly sweep you back off the floor again with a nagging hook that grows and sustains, sustains and grows. Suddenly, the beat is back alongside such outrageously old-skool acid riffs that release is the only option. Go with it, break out a grin and just let your body move!

Ok, so some critics might argue there’s nothing astonishingly new here. Isn’t this just a rehash of the oldest dance formula in existence? Well yes, yes it is. But it hasn’t been rehashed with this much style and verve since Mylo. So crank up the volume, ignore the naysayers and brace yourselves for Attack Decay Sustain Release.

9/10


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