When I reviewed their debut release Pool they were singing about videogames and I was pointing out their similarity to Alphabetical-era Pheonix. The subject matter may have moved on but the musical approach remains very familiar on this follow up release.
'Flex' is full of the tight guitar work and polished melodies that back a functional and bookish vocal. The slightly loose percussion and guitar riffs flecked with funk give this an infectious disco edge but it lacks just a little sophistication and emotion.
The dance floor sass of 'Flex' is countered by the more wistful 'Botox', with its chirpy verses and layered chorus. It feels a little deeper than the title track but in comparison to Pheonix's work, which often features obtuse lyrics that somehow still carry an emotional weight, this feels a little impenetrable. As a result the music is enjoyable but feels a little disposable.
Two remixes feature on this release in support of the originals. Stimming makes a return from the band's debut EP and offers 'Botox' up in the form of a deeper dub, full of dark grooves.
Aeroplane's remix of 'Flex' is the highlight of the EP and the best mix from (Aeroplane alter-ego, now it's a solo act) Vito de Luca I've heard in some time. It's a full 50 BPM slower than the original and adds some deep cosmic disco finesse to the original. The revision suits the vocals, creating a passionate track that more fully communicates the rhythm and desire it sounds like Pool were going for.
Flex is released on 18 February through 2DIY4.