Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel

This debut will take you on a journey thorough glam rock, tribal beats, dub and electro, and leave you lying on the floor like a quivering wreck.

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Released 11 Aug 2008 | Zarcorp | By Chris Cummins | Rating: 4
Late Of The Pier - Fantasy Black Channel

Stranger then the late night ramblings of Amy Winehouse, Late Of The Pier's debut album will assault your ears with an abundance of music styles and sounds. 'Fantasy Black Channel' follows up previous singles, 'Space And Woods' and 'The Bears Are Coming', which gained great critical acclaim and stirred excitement with their innovation, diversity and sheer intensity. The big question however, is can Late Of The Pier spread their energetic mind-bending sound over a full length release?

Thankfully the answer is yes. Recorded over four studios, Fantasy Black Channel manages to merge together a multitude of genres, from glam rock to Eighties electro, and yet remain a coherent album. Opening song 'Hot Tent Blues' crashes in with a booming futuristic synth, then quickly swerves into a scratchy guitar-led floor filler. With only a slight musical interlude to allow you just enough time to breathe, the pounding beat of 'Broken' kicks in, quickly followed by previous single 'Space And Woods'. Each subsequent song continually bends and twists the listener's mind; before you know it you're left feeling like that poor bloke curled up in the corner at Fabric every Friday after one too many disco biscuits.

Drugs seem to be as prevalent an influence as the musical inspirations on show: Bowie, Eno, Human League, Gary Numan to name just a few. The lyrics are peppered with references - "I didn't sleep last night I couldn't come down" and "a happy thicker line, it's just a line". These tales of overindulgence complement the album's unpredictability and frantic edge. A personal favourite has to be "pineapple pieces in brine, fucking around with your mind", surely the result of one too many chemically charged late nights.

Late Of The Pier have served up an album so far removed from what you'll find on the Radio 1 playlist, you can't help but wish that every new band was trying to achieve this level of originality. Quite possibly the debut of the year so far, 'Fantasy Black Channel' will take you on a journey thorough glam rock, tribal beats, dub and electro, and leave you lying on the floor like a quivering wreck.