Is there any way two new songs, even in abrupt fashion, could live up to expectation? James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem are the soundtrack to memories shared, a sly wink to the passage of time, of relationships in and out of focus as the world bounds on. Last year’s reunion shows rekindled those memories in gloriously staged disco-ball reality.
New music was promised and now here we are. ‘Call The Police’ and ‘American Dream’ could easily have been off-cuts from any part of the band’s discography, indellibly LCD.
“We all, we all, we all, we all know this is nothing,” sings Murphy on ‘Call The Police’ which feels like a nod to Talking Heads. The song is decidedly more of a traditional alt-rock song than most LCD songs, the openness of ‘All My Friends’ with Murphy’s always-tired wryness intact. “It moves like a virus and enters our skin / The first sign divides us, the second is moving to Berlin.” There are nods to the label DFA, Murphy’s time as an “unhappy punk”, and the song hurtles towards the full-band crescendo, weariness intact. “Yeah, call the police / You’re crazy, man.”
‘American Dream’ then is more of a dusted waltz. Synths and strings swirl as Murphy sings in melancholy tones. “So get up and stop your complaining / You know that you’re the only one who’s been destroying all the fun.” It’s a pep talk after a night out where you find yourself in someone else’s place.
These are good songs with substance, but only memories to be formed will really tell us of their stature.