Black Soul Strangers - Animate

A wholly British dancefloor cacophony that suggests big things to come.

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Released 5 Jul 2010 | Universal | By Martin Guttridge-Hewitt | Rating: 4
Black Soul Strangers - Animate

A powerful debut that launches from the stable with wailing guitars looming above a sea of crashing cymbals. The result is a wholly British dancefloor cacophony that suggests big things to come.

After the main room indie of opener ‘Panic Sets Direction’, recent single ‘The Haunting’ is more inline with the liquid chords behind The XX. The epic kick drums pad out an aural English landscape painted with traditional roots on a 21st Century easel.

Elsewhere the excellent ‘Monster’ moves between innocent glockenspiel melodies to heartache vocals and effected guitar strumming stereotypical of classic home grown indie rock. In this dare to be different age it’s a refreshing return to a familiar ground that ensures the Strangers have plenty of crossover appeal, though, in contrast to many, it’s not because they’re bland.

‘Tristia’ is amongst the album’s moodier moments, setting a dark tone while keeping the crowd firmly in its sights. Rolling snares set the marching band tempo, gentle guitar chords build the foundations and an emotional soundscape emerges as bass and kick drum drops. It’s the finest of all 10 on the album, and gives the best example of why they shouldn’t be allowed to stay strangers for long.