Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top 10 Albums of 2008: 3. GANG GANG DANCE - Saint Dymphna

On Saint Dymphna, their fourth album, Manhattan’s Gang Gang Dance showcase the unique sound that has led to them sharing bills with such luminaries as Sonic Youth and TV On The Radio. A mixture of pulsing tribal rhythms and eerie, discordant electronica, it’s lent a further air of mysticism by Liz Bougatsos’ rapturous vocals and the frequent religious imagery in their lyrics. Saint Dymphna is another excellent example of an album where each track segues flawlessly into the next: for example, opening instrumental ‘Bebey’ expertly builds tension with its insistent percussion and atmospheric electronics, before ‘First Communion’ sends everything skyward with what is surely the musical equivalent of tent revivalism. Elsewhere, Bougatsos recites ominous incantations over rattling, primitive percussion and disorientating sound effects on ‘Afoot’, and the superb ‘House Jam’ harnesses their sensibilities to an irresistible dance beat. Gang Gang Dance sound exactly the way you want a band from New York to sound : dangerous, unique, and utterly compelling.

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