'NOW YOU ARE THIS'
UTR012 | Double gatefold LP | 13 tracks, 48 mins | 8 Oct 2007 | Buy
Building on the expansive pop of the 2005 'We're Animals' album, but taking the sound into a newly pensive wilderness, 'Now You Are This' is a worry-stained record - all minimal, bluntly entrancing riffs, insistent drumming and tense, reverberant synthesizers. There isn't an easy comparison for the dire, wounded poise of these songs - a secret pact between beauty and fear? The futuristic propulsion of Kraftwerk filtered through the raw-knuckled roughness of Suicide?
Surprisingly, the most disquieting aspect of the songs is their subtle charm - 13 tracks of dazed and charged near-collapse that unexpectedly catch in your mind, echoing their haunted buzz for days and weeks after the record ends. Not since The Silver Apples has a band so successfully wedded a cacophony of electronic keyboards with such a clear-voiced pop sensibility.
A significant part of this catchiness lies in the vocals, in the floating, hypnotic lilt of Indra Dunis and in the timeless, intuitive harmonies lent by Eric Landmark and Dave Broekema. The weave of their raw, upright voices lends a poignant, unflinching and steady guide to the dogged, swirling waves of sound that propels the record.
With such ache, such urgency, Numbers draw a line from the honest clarity of traditional American music like the Carter Family through the troubled pounding of today, creating a phenomenal, appropriately dark vision of tomorrow's pop music.
'Now You Are This' is a double gatefold LP - two 45 RPM 12" discs in a gatefold sleeve. A CD version, with alternative artwork, is available from Kill Rock Stars.