by / March 12th, 2009 /

NLF3 – Ride On A Brand New Time

 1/5 Rating

(Prohibited Records)

Blasting through your ears like a well-aimed sparkler, France’s NLF3’s new album is choc full of crackling, intergalactic melodies. Ride On A Brand New Time is a mind-exhausting musical space odyssey, encompassing everything from Can and Animal Collective to Sonic Youth: they even manage to add a dash of Joe Meek-style reverb for good cosmos-themed measure.

Their layered instrumental sound is unfortunately and rather unfairly bound to draw obvious comparisons to their touring partners and gods-of-the-awkward-noise, Battles. However, whereas Battles are all muscular rhythmic force, administering their robotic chrome-rock sound with razor sharp precision, the Parisians prefer an altogether more warm, playful sound, made up of lazy grooves, hypnotic fuzzy loops and DFA style bass-lines, making them at once instantly familiar but utterly distinctive and endlessly captivating.

As the spell-binding whirl of the addictive -Fuses Apes And Doppler’ gives way to the gurgling bleep of -Hurricane’ and the spikier, kinetic -Birds No Birds’, the band constantly shape-shift: at once, they are psychedelic krautrock, they are M83 without the shoe-gazey gloom laden melodrama, Stereolab without the drone, This Heat minus the pretension. They are all this but with brevity, a sense of style and more importantly fun. This is not the po-faced, over -earnest ‘sound of dying galaxies’ as the much missed John Peel once excitedly described Pink Floyd but the electrifying fizz of modern sussed pop. Yes, sometimes it still can sound like a keyboard falling down a lift-shaft but this keyboard is crashing to its demise with love.

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Youtube