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Apocalypso ‘ The Presets

By Aidan Roberts

Right now, if there were a flagship band to herald the next wave of Australian electronic hipster genius, it would be these guys. Whether you ride the electro-rock train or not, these popular twiddlers are on top of their game. Happy from the giant success of their 2005 record Beams, Julian Hamilton and Kim Moyes have knuckled down and delivered a very sharp, if slyly formulaic, successor. From the outset, there is a strong scent of theatricality and neo-80’s analogue sensuality. Opener Kicking and Screaming launches the record with a thrilling confidence – followed by raucous crowd favourite My People. There is something of Gary Numan’s robotic snarl in Hamilton’s voice, which is appealing, and the more anthemic numbers feeling something like sci-fi rave-come-spiritual confessions; If I Know You thrums along gently with its clouds of warm synthesizer melancholic’s, and the instrumental, noir-ish Blade-Runner aesthetic of Aeons is good fun. But what will make this album popular are its massive dance-rock – the blitzy, thumping Together and narky quirk of Yippyo Ay. For all its fun qualities, this record carries an air of limited longevity, and despite The Presets’ technical prowess and effective nostalgic textures, unfortunately for this listener Apocolypso feels less potent and satisfying than the hype suggests. Perhaps their third LP will yield a classic’ *** 1/2