- Article by: Seth Graves
- Posted: 08/11/2012
What is it that Scottish kids learn in school that makes them so much more averagely adept at rock ‘n’ roll than the rest of the world? BMX Bandits, Bay City Rollers, Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream... the list stretches clear across the Atlantic Ocean where they take our most beloved original art form and throw it back in our faces for us to attempt to reclaim as our own.
As you may have guessed by that rant, Django Django is one such Scottish band. A lazier critic could easily lump this lot into the latest wave of electronic indie pop acts, go back to swilling coffee and submitting sample submissions to Pitchfork. But, while there are definitely ‘80s-era synthesizers swimming underneath the entirety of their self-titled full-length (8/14/12, Ribbon Music), coupled along with 8-bit samples reminiscent of the Pac-Man soundtrack, they serve as more of a lush undercurrent when their novelty is overshadowed by shimmering guitars and pop harmonies delivered with a punk immediacy. On top of that, there’s a rhythmic new-wave stomp driving these pop jams into tribal territory.
Now, again, when I say “Scottish,” I don’t mean kilts and bagpipes (see the list of bands above). When I say “pop” and “punk,” I’m not comparing them to Paramore (wiki the Anorak / C86 movement of the late ‘80s). And finally, when I say “tribal,” I’m not referring to the watered-down faux Afro-pop attempts of Vampire Weekend, nor the primal rhythms of Animal Collective, but rather the polyrhythmic rumble of Bow Wow Wow. All adjectives here are only applicable in a purely ‘80s context, as this record and its influences seem confined to that decade alone, using the benefit of hindsight to cull the best of each element to create a post-modern ‘80s mixtape of a sound that could have only been created from a 21st century advantage.