Fans of UK trio Alex Payne, Heidrun Bjornsdottir and Aaron Gilbert (AKA Cicada) were first introduced to the act in 2006 through their self-titled debut long player. The album was a platter of glittering electro including the pleasing pop of ‘Cut Right Through’ and the deep industrial vibe of ‘The Things You Say’. Fast forward three years and the duo is back with album No.2, ‘Roulette’.
Your twelve track, non-stop aural journey begins with ‘Falling Rockets’, a driving synth-fuelled dance/pop track that smacks with familiarity. Cut down to three minutes or so, it wouldn’t sound out of place on night-time radio playlists.
But it’s track two, ‘Metropolis’, that’s already receiving airplay over in Ol’ Blighty – on the highly respected BBC Radio One, no less. With a bassline that appears to borrow roughly from the Knack’s ‘My Sharona’, it’s the second track that benefits from Heidrun’s vocals.
‘One Beat Away’, after four and a half minutes, has us either completely bored or completely hooked – we don’t know which, while ‘Talking’ introduces a male vocal to the mix and ‘P Star’ will have you questioning why we don’t hear xylophones popping up in songs more often.
‘Psycho Thrills’ is easily the most commercially accessible single here. It’s bright and sparkly, with more than a nod to the 1980s and is perfectly primed for success.
If you’re a fan of the type of music where musicians have to cloak anything that might sound remotely like a guitar on their way to the studio, you’ll love this album.
Spin ‘Roulette’ in your car as the perfect driving accompaniment on those long cruises down the coast, loud in a cavernous room, or as you’re burning the calories on the treadmill. It’s pleasing, familiar guitar-less dance/pop.