Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure

Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure

Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure

The Manchester based electronic duo of James Ford and Jas Shaw have always managed to maintain a standard which was a cut above their contemporaries. Bands like Justice, MSTRKRFT, Digitalism…..all did the job for the Thursday nights out on the dancefloor, but for some reason its always felt like Simian Mobile Disco had a bit more substance to their work. The pulsing electro of numbers like “It’s The Beat” would do the job for whatever party you were at, yet it was the slow burning anthems like “Sleep Deprivation” and “Love” that ensured you kept coming back to SMD after the party was over.

On the collab heavy “Temporary Pleasure”, SMD have attempted to return to the latter style, combining meaty electro with big, and lesser known names from the world of indie and beyond. Welsh hero and Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys kicks things off on “Cream Dream”, a steady opener that works well as the albums first track; Rhys’ warm howls going well with the songs wall of analogue synths. Obvious single “Audacity Of Huge”, featuring Chris Keating of Yeasayer initially comes across as a dumb throwaway electro tune, but in fact its knowingly obtuse lyrics prove to be both intriguing and morish (A bag of Bill Murray, anyone?).

“1000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong” comes across as the most solid track on the album, with a minimal techo number steadily building up and creeping into the same vein as previous album opener “Sleep Deprivation”. So far, so good. Gossip frontwoman Beth Ditto’s contribution, “Cruel Intentions”, comes off as a bit weak. Without being overly harsh I feel no need to listen to this song again. It isn’t the worst song i’ve ever heard, but never before have I taken such an instant apathy to a song. Glitch electo artist tuned soul guru Jamie Lidell soon brings the standard back up again however on “Off The Map”, a brooding techno number that intends to soundtrack not the part of your night that’s spent on the dancefloor, but the treacherous walk home at 3am. Whilst guilty of some seriously questionable lyrics, (“You can be space/I’ll be the invader”) it still proves to be the album’s most memorable track and the use of Jamie’s tortured vocal samples played throughout add some actual grit to an already dark track.

And then it all goes downhill. “Synthesise” is a pointlessly monotonous techno track, which after a minute and a half attempts to wow with a Justice-style breakdown. Too little, too late. “Bad Blood” featuring Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, shuffles in unceremoniously like a Hot Chip B-side, offering neither style or catchiness. “Turn Up The Dial” is genuinely not worth talking about, so…yeah. “Ambulance” isn’t actually a bad little tune, and is a low key techno rumble which would again lead one to assume that SMD are better off on their own, rather than involving a who’s who of indie schmindie. Telepathe do an ok job on “Pinball”, which plays Temporary Pleasure out on a haunting number that manages to capture some of the magic of Swedish electronic act The Knife.

Temporary Pleasure certainly isn’t a bad album, and there are several tracks on here that rightly deserve your attention. It isn’t the magnificent substance over style follow up that we were lead to believe, however, and while certain tracks are worthwhile additions to the SMD catalogue, once the obligatory remix album comes out from the band in a few months, one gets the feeling that Temporary Pleasure will be inevitably shelved. And there it will sit.

Track List:
1. Cream Dream feat. Gruff Rhys
2. Audacity of Huge feat. Chris Keating
3. 10000 Horses Can’t Be Wrong
4. Cruel Intentions feat. Beth Ditto
5. Off The Map feat. Jamie Lidell
6. Synthesise
7. Bad Blood feat. Alexis Taylor
8. Turn Up The Dial feat. Young Fathers
9. Ambulance
10. Pinball feat. Telepathe

Simian Mobile Disco - Temporary Pleasure, reviewed by Lemon on 2009-08-26T16:03:22-07:00 rating 3.0 out of 5

One Response about “Simian Mobile Disco – Temporary Pleasure”

  • Charles says:

    There’s something so wonderful about the sentence “Temporary pleasure will be inevitably shelved.” Out of context, a call to arms.