The Presets - Beams
Mon 12th Sep, 2005 Music Reviewsin
This would have to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year so far, as Sydney duo The Presets take their first smoothly crafted step into debut-land. Since their first EP Blow Up back in 2003, people have fallen for their delectable electro punk invasions both live and recorded. They’ve managed to win over audiences both at home and abroad touring with The Dissociatives and warming the stages for the likes of The Faint, Cut Copy and Placebo, but can they pull it off with their debut?
The answer YES, written in baroque cheesy 80s neon lights even! It has it’s classic no-brainer electro thumpers, ‘Down Down Down’, ‘Are You The One?’, ‘Kitty In The Middle’, ‘I Go Hard, I Go Home’ & the Prodigy sounding ‘Girl (You Chew My Mind Up)’ (05’s answer to 04’s ‘Girls Can Be Cruel’) which are likely to appeal to the masses and earn them the ‘next great white hope’ tag from both the rock and the dance communities alike. But if you think that’s where The Presets begin and end, then looks are very deceiving with this highly decorated pair. Scratch a little harder and you’ll peel away the layers to find a band capable of making much more than just a plain black and white record.
Beams may be short and sweet coming in at the 43 minute mark, but that doesn’t mean they ignored their other guises in the process of making Beams, quite on the contrary, they’ve taken each different facet of their sound and challenged it a little further, with exquisite results. It has it’s quieter, dark electro pop outbursts with ‘Worms’, the gorgeously engaging melancholy of ‘Bad Up Your Betterness’ and timeless classic beauty of ‘Girl & The Sea’ which is packed with enough punch to have even the toughest wiping a stray tear from their dampened cheek. Then there are the cinematic wonders of the record, which could be the shining lights on Beams (no pun intended). They’re both ball-breakingly original and have succeeded in what most bands have spent years setting out to achieve, but not quite managing to do with the same debonair that The Presets have with ‘Black Background’ and ‘Beams’, tipping the hat to their Prop days of genius.
The only problem is, this has been what we’ve been waiting for since 2003, so is the expectation met but not really exceeded? I’ll leave that one for you to answer for yourselves.