in Review

Down Zonoscope

Cut Copy – Zonoscope

I remember one time I was riding along with Paul and he was playing Cut Copy in his car and I was just thinking, “Why does this sound so familiar?” So I did a little research and realized, I’d actually seen them live. Yeah in October 2005, opening for TV on the Radio and Franz Ferdinand, the funny thing is that Paul didn’t even remember we saw them and he was the one playing them in his car. The thing is when they came on that night in 2005, they weren’t on the ticket, weren’t introduced, and when they started playing I was like “What is this? Is this like a band? Are these roadies or something?” It was just two guys with synths, beat machines, and guitars that randomly took the stage. They were okay but I just didn’t know what was going on or who they were and it took me a good five years to find out.

Flash forward to earlier this week and I saw they had a new album, so here I am now giving them a shot. All I remembered is they were sort of an electronic group, but they’ve expanded since then. Adding two more guys this is more like a rock band with synths then just an electro/pop duo. The material brings to mind bands like Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys but if their lead singer was really sleepy, like Matt Berninger from The National. So the result is kind of new wave, kind of shoegazing pop, and everything in between.

Something I really should of considered before giving this album a whirl is, do I really like new wave music? Not particularly, but I’m open minded and definitely prepared myself for the possibility that this album could be a bit dull. Is it dull? Well sometimes, yeah but I love the retro instrumentation so it’s a bit of a mixed bag.

Though I have no regrets about getting this album as I got to hear the pleasurable tune “Where I’m Going” easily the best song on the album. It almost sounds like it belongs on another record entirely. Where the bulk of the album is moody new wave, this sounds like 60s pop (Think “Dragging the Line” if Tommy James had recorded it with synthesizers.) It’s a great pop song. Other tunes like “Nee You Know” and “Take Me Over” (which sounds a lot like fellow Aussie classic “Down Under”) are enjoyable enough, though they can get a little redundant with most songs well beyond five minutes (last song is 15, like I had enough energy for that.) I like to think new wave fans like this but for me, it’s just okay.

Favorite Tracks: “Pharaohs & Pyramids”, “Take Me Over”, “Where I’m Going”