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Album Review

by Discovery

XL Recordings

Review Date
7th July 2009
Reviewed by
Lukas Clark-Memler

First of all, to set the record straight, Discovery is not a proper band. They are merely a musical collaboration of two very different artists; a duo that in most other cases would remain unsigned and unheard of. But, capitalising on the success of their previous bands, Rostam Batmanglij: keyboardist/producer for Vampire Weekend, and Wes Miles: Ra Ra Riot vocalist, have been able to generate hype, and spark the interest of many.

Discovery’s debut album, creatively entitled LP, is, well, frustrating to say the least. What makes it so frustrating is that Discovery sounds very good at times, but they also have moments of utter disaster. An aural roller coaster that soars up into musical greatness, but only for brief moments, before then hurtling back down into musical catastrophe. This makes for a rather schizophrenic listening experience.

When Discovery gets it right, their melodies gently caress the eardrums with tasteful and satisfying beats. But, more times than not, their tunes are greedy, belaboured and contrived with everything exact and over-calculated. All is in its right place and if there is an experimental sound, it is too proportionally gaudy to justify anything more than a meagre lo-fi moniker.

Cascades of synths clash with overpowering drum machines and whispered lyrics.

Effected keyboards wane and warble over looped beats and a throbbing bass.

Theirs is a neo-pop sound, with hints of R n’ B and electro. This eclectic mix of genres, and instruments creates an interesting, yet chaotic feel, with no clear method to their madness. With fake handclaps instead of snare drums and synthesizers replacing guitars, Discovery is definitely unique, though still undeniably kitschy.

If you’re looking for something profound, then you’re in the wrong place. Discovery aren’t to be taken seriously, and that precisely is what makes their music so enjoyable. They are not trying to make a statement, they don’t speak out against any politicians and they’re not being cynical or ironic. They are simply having fun with their music, and their utter joviality wears off on the listener.

Discovery brings a youthful nature, sensational charm, and a downright fun dynamic to an otherwise serious music scene: so for that they should be commended. Yes the drum-machines are little too loud, and the vocals are a little too quiet, but if the band had fun making it then that’s all that matters. Isn’t it?

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