Combining poppier elements of bands like MGMT and Empire of The Sun, The NaF are all about clever songs and catchy power-pop tunes, with distorted synths and a combination of boy-girl vocals. But it’s also fair to say that a portion of the band’s commercial appeal probably lies with its very polished too-cool-for-school hipster chic.
It would be no exaggeration to suggest that the bulk of those responsible for propelling The NaF to the top of the charts are – much like the band itself – barely out of school uniform. Or at the very least, under the age of 25, and certainly not yet cynical or world-weary enough to start wondering about long term prospects and use-by dates.
Their refusal of all things feel-good only adds to the stylistic tension. There’s lots of mental anguish, psychic bruises and “Tearing at the seams” on ‘Frayed’; their most ecstatic hit tune, ‘Punching In A Dream’, concerns violent nightmares; and at the very least ‘Spank’ details a global pandemic, at worst a zombie apocalypse. ‘The Sun’ is all paranoia, recriminations and the terror of lost narcotic hours, while closer ‘Jilted Lovers’ teeters into all-out psychosis, with Alisa’s sublime coo cracking: “Voices in my head multiply/I am such a mess”. A classic case of ugly and beautiful: TN&F’s passive melodicism and aggressive innovation clash in a dazzling blaze of psych/sonic fireworks.
If you’re after atmospheric indie rhythms and electrifying live frisson, don’t miss out on southwest London trio. The moody vocal harmonies of Oliver Sim and Romy Madley Croft on tracks such as Crystalised and Heart Skipped A Beat (taken from acclaimed 2009 album XX) generate a seductively edgy magic, fuelled by creative guitar and electro production techniques.
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/music/iTunesFestival/831246-itunes-festival-2010-the-xx-and-wild-beasts-are-rated-indie-talent#ixzz1t6dHb0M2
Sultry elodies and single note riffs reverberated over a tidal wave of rumbling bass, picked out by the husky voiced front-duo of Romy Madley-Craft and Baria Qureshi, while the band’s beat-master Jamie Smith provided a satisfyingly solid backstop behind them. Although the trademark black garb and drowsy composure were in place, there was an endearing bashfulness in the performance of the band, who seemed genuinely delighted with the crowd’s almost rapturous reception to tracks like Heart Skipped A Beat and Islands. The simplicity of The XX’s sound benefits from the exposure of a larger space, allowing their quietly emotive lyrics on modern love and loss to resonate with a glacial clarity. A difficult act to categorise, the band’s reliance upon throbbing beats and bass nods heavily towards the influences of urban music, and they have become renowned for their downbeat covers of r’n’b artists like Aliyah.
Read more: http://amyrosedawson.blogspot.com/2010/07/review-xx-at-roundhouse.html
Released in February of 1973, it was an instant flop, commercially speaking, but as with so many records adjudged to be iconic after the fact, it still found its way into the hands of the right people. Musicians who'd soon be instrumental in kickstarting Punk: artists in New York City, Cleveland and L.A., and across the pond in London and Manchester, and even Down Under in Sydney and Melbourne. Picking up the baton and bolting with it, those bands would in turn serve up sonic mentorships for thousands and thousands others down through the years. There's no guarantee that the budding young garage combo practicing in that storage shed down the street from you has heard Raw Power or either of its two predecessors, 1969's The Stooges and 1970's Fun House. But there's no question that the Stooges are in those kids' DNA in one form or another.
Read more: http://blurt-online.com/reviews/view/2045/