Slove's 'Do We Need' caught my attention with it's bleached post-punk sound over the summer. The French newcomers' debut, Le Danse, is released soon - could this be another addition to the ever growing list of too cool French bands?
Despite my impression when reviewing 'Do We Need', Slove don't actually have a vocalist. Instead they work with guest vocalists - almost every track on Le Danse features one, and most of them guest on a couple of tracks. It's obviously a well trodden approach amongst British electronic artists (The Chemical Brothers, Groove Armada) and it works well here, adding extra variety to the album's 48-minute length.
There are a number of styles referenced throughout Le Danse, from the Madchester loose funk of the title track to the heavy, electro grind of 'Flash'. the latter's vocal, delivered by Maik, combining with distorted bass to create something cold and clinical yet fragile.
On 'Carte Postale' Anne Laure's spoken word vocal counts in French whilst a simple muted guitar bumps along on a crashing drum track and it is here Slove are at their best. Minimal, structured concept tracks that combine a deft touch with surprising aggression. Similarly, 'Noisy Neige' is wave after wave of distortion with gently hummed vocals, an audio thick shake of rough and smooth.
Le Danse feels tight and, for an album of guest turns, relatively focused - a good thing for a debut. Slove feel like the post-punk Air, which I guess should be a compliment... The only nagging feeling is that you can't escape the thought that we have heard it all before.
Le Danse is due to be released on 3 October on Pschent.