It’s been a fine year for Dubliners Sounds Of System Breakdown. Their self-titled debut won plenty of interest, seeing the electro-rockers rise to the top end of many of Ireland’s smaller festival bills and even win a ranking position on State’s albums of 2010. An emotive performance on the main stage of Vantastival – during which the band made a permanent drummer swap mid set – had a previously empty tent throbbing and twisting along like someone had introduced a Buckfast drip. The energy and enthusiasm that’s begun to permeate crowds at the live shows gives the general sense of a band inching their way towards the upper echelons of the local music scene.
The Colour EP is something of a stopgap. Recorded as a ‘snapshot of the present and a taster for the big one that’s round the corner’, it consists of four pleasingly energetic, synth-driven dance floor numbers that are genuinely difficult to listen to without swinging the odd hip, or, at times, leaping about the room manically. The title track is perhaps their smoothest effort yet, a slow builder that lacks the band’s trademark bleepy instrumentals, but bursts into a slow-building, synthy chorus. ‘Abandoned Buildings’ is a darker moment: restrained, and built around an almost organic throb, it’s shoved along by the harsh keyboard undertones of the chorus and enhanced by a subtly experimental electro bridge. Then there’s ‘Reversism’, perhaps the highlight, an escapist slow-builder that pushes the lyrics to the fore and channels hefty loud/quiet contrasts fused with angst and shape throwing.
There’s a notable change of direction to the EP: seeming to be edging away from the sporadic jingly electro-instrumentals of their debut in favor of a harsher, heavier style. Harsher though it is, Colour seems to lack the ‘guitar in crowd’ rock out moments that have become a key part of the live show, focusing instead on an intense electronic edge and bustling, flowing style. They remain, though, one of those fiercely danceable, bouncy-electronic acts that seem to lodge themselves in your skull for hours at a time. The EP’s introduction of a more direct style is a nice album teaser, and will serve well in pushing on an already impressive live show.
Sounds Of System Breakdown launch the Colour EP in a late show, tonight (10th of June) at Crawdaddy, Dublin