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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

8.5

Danger Beach
Pacific

It was too late. I'd already sacrificed my hard earned cash and was perched in the uncomfortable cinema seat. Sure, swap out money for bandwidth and multiplex for couch, but it's no less disappointing. My initial — albeit unfounded — perception of Drive was that it was a film housed within an alternate dimension. A limitless storyline exploring a fictitious time and place, presented as it's own warped historical glance at the future. Similar to that Daft Punk movie, minus the drawn-out artistic shots and French engineering propaganda. Knight Rider without the cheesy wall-destroying vigilantes, but all the glamourous, over-glossed fuzz. But, alas, it turned out to just be a love story about a guy who was really good at driving his 1981 Torona around industrial estates.

Thankfully, around the same time (seizing on the opportunity to fill a hole like Davey Hasselhoff on a burger bender) hit-making record label, Dream Damage, decided to release Pacific, a new album from Lachlan Thomas, aka Danger Beach.

Sure, throwing in movie reviews inside music reviews is something Leonard DiCaprio and his Bride would offer up in an attempt to fulfil their required word-count quotas, studio deals or album contracts. But, like dreams inside dreams inside dreams, it's a completely plausible basis, even more-so given the genuinely cinematic quality of Pacific. An album where sounds mould into visual scenes inside our mindholes, as we playfully attempt to convert the minimalism soundscapes into grainy and glared footage. Muddled dream sequences following an illogical plot. An unrestricted tale of an unspecified era, presented as a mirage. Final credits role, you know it was all just fake — a ceremony of fiction.

Whilst previously obsessed with spending the daylight hours watching gently delivered waves from the comfort of his bedroom, Pacific exists solely for the night. Presented from a vintage, two-bit viewpoint and equally focused on the glamorous and seedy aspects of it's habitat, the record advances the raw fragility of his demo/debut, Milky Way, into a more richly textured event. Computer-generated guitar effects, morse code deliveries and warped infomercials wail over imaginary scenes of 18-hour car chases, exploding cyborg brains and closing wormholes. Large, inadequate mainframes attempt to mimic the cheesy pop music of the contemporary era to assist with record label profit margins, only to crunch out a uniquely artificial relic all of it's own, dispatched on millions of reams of continuous paper in unreadable characters, before hastily committed to VHS for preservation.

Much like Thomas' former band, the now-defunct, noise legends, Assassins 88, the abrasive lo-fidelity approach is merely a concealment for the genuine pop innocence hidden beneath. These fragments of engagement act as disposable skeletons, operating primarily as frames for the varying levels of presentation. Sometimes — Black Rain, Magnum, Pacific — this is a thick overcoat, rich with human qualities, while on other occasions — Sioux, Neon, Dark Blue — the soul is hidden beneath an impervious robotic exoskeleton. Peal away blood vessels and circuit wires and the underlying framework is identical.

And this undeviating, unique and consistent manner is the characterising property that makes Pacific such an enjoyable tale. While, much like a revisited piece of cinema, it's inevitable that favourite scenes slowly emerge over time, in the end it's the overall experience that has the lasting impact.

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Record Reviews
Danger Beach

 

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Comments

in1989

such a good album, currently listening to the new full-band set on FBi on demand. They kicked ass the other week at Smith's Bookstore.

6 years ago

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