French Horn Rebellion do not make music to be listened to alone. At it’s best, The Infinite Music Of… goes straight for big beats and body-shaking bass aimed straight at dance floors and large, heaving crowds. When it sticks to this modus operandi it is an enjoyable ride, rocketing along at a goodly pace, stuffed with massive synths and bagfuls of groove. The problems arise, however, when the pair go for pop sensibility or classical respectability.
It may sound harsh but this is a band who are at their best when they’re not thinking too much. First track proper, ‘The Body Electric’, is a three minute head-rush that is designed to tear up dark clubs the world over. It’s not a particularly sophisticated song, but it has no need to be. It’s all four-to-the-floor beats, big bass and repeated vocal lines. It sounds massive and could have the kind of euphoric effect on a crowd that makes the likes of Daft Punk or Justice so special. If anything, it is probably too short. No doubt it will make great remix fodder for many a DJ over the coming months.
When the brothers Molinari stick to this format and basic idea, they shine. However, straying from the dancefloor leads them down some dark and ponderous paths. Instrumental track ‘Antarctica/The Decision’ is a four-minute wander that, while obviously meant as some sort of exposition of their musical training, just manages to suck out all the energy and colour that the songs preceding it had built up. It’s cool-jazz piano chords and background soundscapes merge together to form a pointless ramble into awkward pretentiousness. There’s even a little french horn in there, just in case you didn’t know one of them was a classically trained player.
The Infinite Music Of… is far from infinite. It is at it’s best when working within quite a strict writ. The fourteen tracks here fly by, due to being either wonderfully energetic and vibrant or instantly forgettable. While there are some truly fantastic bangers on show, any hope of crossover success in the pop realm, as early comparisons to MGMT suggested, is baseless. Not a bad debut by any means, but future forays into chart-topping pop will have to be fine-tuned for French Horn Rebellion to get beyond the dancefloor.