The Presets – Apocalypso

The era of the synth first came to mass prominence in the 80’s at a time when it started rolling out the perfect pop singles in electronique.

Following the groundbreaking German pioneers Kraftwerk – who fundamentally invented the format all sorts of chancers have had a go and many have fallen by the wayside.

Near 30 years later Antipodean renegades The Presets are throwing their hats in the ring to claim 08’s kings of synth/moody electronic.

What is noticable about Apocalypso is it’s awash with hooks in a definite decadent sound. Something Ladytron’s new release is a million miles from achieving. From single ‘This Boy’s In Love’ high NRG camp that Steve Strange would doff his mannequin mask to to opener ‘kicking and screaming’ with it’s hard industrial Young Gods-ish clean lines it’s no place for the faint hearted. ‘My people’ is a more squelchy affair full of stop start aggerssive notes changes with a lazy vocal drawl that is ubiqitous throughout, it’s about a coming together of like minded individuals however if you’re looking for a Beloved adulation then forget it.

Bits of house and trance bang around ‘The New Sky’ – think of a more polished and refined PWEI with less muck and comedy and add a dash of Blancmange and you’re on the money.

The album is a whirlwind drive through 11 spikey tracks and the pace is relentless. Being so derivative of 80’s pop can be a millstone to some artists but The Presets have managed to wring every single processed beat to within of it’s Roland.

‘Talk like that’ is cathedral-esque high drama and the vocoder style vocals is all Phantom of the Opera.

If Flock of Seagulls had not given up the ghost when their floppy fringes receded they could be sitting in the molotov radioactive hive that the Presets are in today.

Finishing off with their own ‘resurrection; is ‘Anywhere’. If Underworld and Gruff Rhys collaborated after a heavy night on the class A’s then your with this post-comedown mess.

A fantastic album and a genuine contender for best of 2008.

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